Southwest Missouri Democrats concerned over large drop in Medicaid enrollment since 2018
Pushing for an investigation into the decrease
JOPLIN, Mo. — Around 120,000 Missourians have been dropped from the State’s Medicaid rolls since 2018.
90,000 of those without coverage are children.
“Children and the elderly tend to be on Medicaid in higher numbers and those are two populations that also are more susceptible to illnesses becoming life threatening quicker, so we don’t like to see groups of people who are considered high risk, uninsured and without healthcare.” Said Executive Director of Southwest Missouri Democrats Krista Stark.
Governor Mike Parson’s administration has previously said that the drops were due to an improving economy.
“It’s being talked about as a computer glitch, as paperwork mistakes, as you know maybe the economy has gotten better and so some people don’t need this coverage anymore but what we’ve seen in the number of food stamp drop offs is that they don’t correlate with the Medicaid drops” added Starks.
Starks says this issue has gone on long enough and the time for answers was yesterday.
“We need to have this fixed in a timely manner and its really gone past a timely manner at this point.”
Access Family Care officials say the new re-enrollment process could be a factor to the drop.
“We really think it’s just been an issue of getting communication out, maybe mailing addresses have changed so if people just keep up to date with the state and keep in contact with them they should be okay” said Steve Douglas, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Access Family Care.
They have seen more people come in thinking they had Medicaid when they did not. They then went through a process to help them enroll.
The clinic offers services to help anyone renew or enroll in Medicaid.
“We have certified application counselors available at all our medical clinics and a person can come and speak with them about their eligibility and those counselors can help them enroll for Medicaid for no charge.”
For Starks, the Democratic party will continue asking for answers and for a solution…until they get one.
“We as a state need to move forward to try to fix it and make sure it doesn’t happen anymore because people in Missouri need to have healthcare coverage.”
The Democratic party is currently asking for an investigation into what happened. House Democratic Minority leader Crystal Quade has asked Republican House Speaker Elijah Haahr to start an investigation.
Haahr has reportedly asked Governor Parsons for more answers.
A recent study showed that Missouri is one of three states with the largest percentage decrease of Medicaid enrollment for 2018.
The Southwest Missouri Democrats are going to be contacting local officials to assist them in asking Governor Parson and the Medicaid board for answers.
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