Editor’s Note: This blog post is the third and final installment in a series by Julianna Lord, Emerson National Hunger Fellow, looking at how the ACA has removed barriers and streamlined access to public assistance programs. Julianna’s previous posts are linked at the bottom of the page.
is on the table in Missouri that would allow elderly and disabled residents to maintain a modest level of savings without sacrificing their health coverage. HB 1223
would increase the state’s Medicaid asset limits from $1,000 to $5,000 for individuals and from $5,000 to $10,000 for married couples. These asset limits have been in place since 1968 and have not been adjusted for inflation in the past 46 years.
So why are Missouri lawmakers pushing to change these asset limits now, especially as the state continues to resist expanding Medicaid? According to the Southeast Missourian
, the issue of low asset limits has hit close to home for Senator Dan Brown (R- Rolla), whose 84-year-old father is currently spending down his savings to cover his medical expenses but has yet to fall within the $1000 limit that would enable him to apply for Medicaid. "I wish he could have a greater asset limit when it gets to that point," Brown said. "I personally would love to see it raised." Nearly 8200
disabled and elderly Missourians, including Brown’s father, would become newly eligible for Medicaid under the new limits.