Missouri Medicaid Expansion Launched with American Rescue Plan Funds
Approximately 275,000 Missourians are now eligible for comprehensive health
By: Catie Hillard
Oct 15, 2021 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that approximately 275,000 Missourians are now eligible for health coverage due to Medicaid Expansion. The state received an estimated $968 million in annual federal funding through the American Rescue Plan. These funds are earmarks for the Medicaid program over the next two years.
Eligible consumers can receive free or low-cost healthcare. For many, this is the first time they will have access to affordable comprehensive healthcare. Consumers can check their eligibility and review plans on MO HealthNet, the state’s health insurance platform.
The expansion is highly touted by Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra who stated, “Hundreds of thousands of Missourians can now gain the peace of mind of having health coverage through Medicaid. This is a win for all Missourians who have fought long and hard to gain their rightful access to quality health insurance made possible through the Affordable Care Act. As we celebrate Missouri’s Medicaid expansion, the Biden-Harris Administration will double down on our outreach efforts to urge the remaining twelve states to join the rest of the nation in ensuring access to health care during this critical time.”
Promising Results from Medicaid Expansion
Missouri Medicaid, also called MO HealthNet began accepting applications for Medicaid expansion in August 2021. Since then, they have received over 17,000 applications. With the recent expansion, there are now 275,000 Missourians eligible to receive full Medicaid benefits.
“Medicaid in Missouri has expanded, and I encourage eligible Missourians to apply,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, eligible Missourians can now sign up for the health care they need. MO HealthNet’s expansion will put comprehensive health coverage within reach for more than 275,000 additional Missourians. We will continue to encourage remaining states to extend the lifeline of Medicaid coverage to all who need it.”
Missouri Not Alone in Expansion
It is important to note that Missouri is not alone in expanding Medicaid. 38 additional states plus the District of Columbia have expanded coverage through Medicaid.
These Medicaid expansions are due in part to the American Rescue Plan that came in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ARP incentivizes states to expand coverage through Medicaid. This is done by offering a 5 percentage point boost in the regular federal matching rate for most medical services for a two-year period. This boost is in addition to the 90% federal matching funds that are currently available through the ACA.
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