Missouri Medicaid Expansion Likely Would Pay For Itself, Report Finds

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Missouri Medicaid Expansion Likely Would Pay For Itself, Report Finds

Missouri likely would not have to spend any additional money to expand Medicaid to insure more low-income people, according to a report from the Washington University Center on Health Economics and Policy.

The state spends nearly $4 billion to provide Medicaid to people with disabilities, pregnant women, children and some seniors.

Researchers say adding people who make up to 138 percent of the federal poverty rate – close to $17,000 annually – likely wouldn’t cost Missouri extra funds, because the state would receive increased federal funding under a Medicaid expansion.

An estimated 200,000 people could gain coverage if Missouri expanded the program to include low-income adults, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. (The report assumes 231,000 people would gain coverage.)

“Intuitively, when you think about adding people to Medicaid, you think it’s going to cost money,” said Ryan Barker, Missouri Foundation for Health’s vice president of policy. “So this is sort of counterintuitive, that it would save the state money.”

Read more from KBIA.