JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri residents who believe they are eligible to apply for Medicaid are now able to on the Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS) website.
The program is called MO HealthNet.
“The necessary funding to cover the health care costs of the expanded population remains the issue. We will continue to work with the General Assembly and DSS to chart a path forward to comply with the court order and keep the MO HealthNet program solvent,” said Governor Parson in a press release Wednesday.
On August 10, a Cole County judge ruled that Parson no longer can deny Medicaid health care to thousands more newly eligible adults. Cole County Judge Jon Beetem said in his order that Parson’s administration must give Medicaid coverage to newly eligible adults, despite the governor’s resistance to doing so.
Beetem also ordered that newly eligible adults won’t face any additional restrictions to get health care coverage through the program.
According to the press release, state officials are working through administrative hurdles, including adequate appropriations, staffing capacity, and computer software changes in order to begin enrolling the expanded population.
In his 2022 budget proposal, Gov. Parson included funding to the General Assembly to cover the expanded population’s health care costs and for 75 additional employees to administer the expanded program.
“The proposed funds were not included in the final FY 22 budget. As a result, DSS is limited to administering the expanded MO HealthNet program without sufficient staffing or appropriations,” the release states.
MoDSS will begin making eligibility determinations once MO HealthNet’s software is updated to reflect the court order. The state says DSS will reassign existing employees from their current assignments and responsibilities to receive and evaluate MO HealthNet applications in order to comply with the court order and until the necessary funds can be appropriated.
According to the press release, the state, if experiencing staffing capacity and funding restraints, so because of that, the required system update is anticipated to take up to 60 days.
“Qualifying health care costs that are incurred by eligible Missourians between the time they apply and when DSS is able to verify their eligibility may be reimbursed at a later date,” the press release says.