Government Relations

UM Legislative Update Newsletter

May 13, 2005

Medicaid reform legislation

In addition to the passage of the University's FY06 budget, a number of budgetary changes were made to Medicaid that will ultimately affect the University Hospital and Clinics and Missouri Rehabilitation Center. SB 539, which has been signed by the governor, makes the statutory changes that are necessary to implement some of the Medicaid budget cuts. It also creates a Medicaid Reform Commission to study the program and sunsets the current Medicaid program as of June 30, 2008.

Among the key changes, Medicaid coverage to the elderly and disabled will now be provided to those with household incomes of less than 85 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). The current income standard is 100 percent of the FPL.

Under current law, parents of Medicaid-eligible children with household incomes of less than 75 percent of the FPL can receive Medicaid coverage. In FY06, only parents at 24 percent of the FPL and below will be able to receive coverage. Children were relatively protected from the cuts.

Coverage is eliminated for those in the Medical Assistance for the Working Disabled (MAWD) program and for those receiving General Relief.

Funding for a number of rehabilitation and specialty services was restored after an initial recommendation by the governor to cut these services. Certain services will not, however, be funded, including outpatient rehabilitation services, eyeglasses, dental or podiatric treatment, day rehabilitation for adults with head injuries, and wheelchair batteries or accessories. All currently covered services will remain available to children, pregnant women and the blind.

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