Missouri Medicaid Expansion
Written by GKCCEH
Published September 29, 2021

A win for Missouri’s homeless population.

The recent unanimous Missouri Supreme Court ruling to enforce the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid Expansion is one of great magnitude for Missouri’s homeless population. As one of the 13 states that continued to reject Medicaid expansion, over 275,000 Missouri residents had the potential to receive affordable care, but were denied. A large majority of these MO residents were members of the homeless population. Though the logistics of the expansion are far from over, the ruling resulted in answers to a confusing, concerning process for many. 

Did Missouri expand medicaid?

Yes, but not right away. 

Medicaid expansion began over 7 years ago by way of federal funding in 2014; however, several states proved resistant to the change. In August 2020, Missouri voters approved a Medicaid expansion ballot measure calling for Missouri to provide the federal government with a plan by March 2021, with the intent that actions be made by July 1, 2021.

No additional funding for the state’s cost of the medicaid expansion was accounted for when state lawmakers passed the 2022 fiscal year budget. 

Eligible MO residents who could not receive Medicaid due to the state’s delay filed a lawsuit against Missouri’s Department of Social Services. After following the appropriate court system steps, a circuit court judge first ruled that Missouri’s Medicaid expansion ballot measure was unconstitutional, leaving Medicaid expansion absent come the July 1 deadline.

The case was appealed, and the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that the new eligibility rules became effective July 1, 2021, granting over 275,000 Missourians access to the state’s Medicare plan, MO HealthNet.

When does Missouri Medicaid expansion go into effect?

The Missouri Supreme Court’s ruling makes the Medicaid expansion criteria effective immediately. State lawmakers have not yet formulated a plan to provide the appropriate funding. 

Who gains medicaid based on Missouri’s Medicaid expansion?

MO HealthNet eligibility has been expanded to include adults under age 65 with household incomes up to 138% of the poverty level. In 2021, a single individual’s income would be up to $17,774. A household of four swould be closer to $36,570.

How will this help the homeless population?

HealthAffairs.org identified five key benefits that Medicaid expansion has made possible for individuals without housing including: 

  1. Better patient coverage
  2. Improved access to services and quality of care
  3. Increased resources for health care providers
  4. Better addresses social determinants of health
  5. Increased dignity and inclusion 

With the ever-growing knowledge that poor health is a leading cause of homelessness and as homelessness becomes a higher profile issue, Medicaid Expansion in Missouri is more important than ever.

How to get Medicaid in Missouri

If you’re looking to receive Medicaid, or think you may be eligible under the new Medicaid expansion criteria, see the options for enrollment below. 

Under 65:

65 or older:

Click here to apply.