KANSAS CITY, Mo. — If you or someone you love is on Medicaid in Missouri, you’ll want to know this. Payments for several Medicaid programs will start again in just a few days – meaning some of the most vulnerable people in Missouri are at risk of losing Medicaid coverage.

After three years, the freeze on Medicaid insurance payments, put in place during COVID time, is ending. KC CARE Health Center wants patients to stay informed to avoid losing coverage. 

Missouri is reinstating payments for people covered by the CHIP, or federal Children’s Health Insurance Program, Ticket to Work Program and Spend Down Program.

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“All of their premiums will resume,” KC CARE  Manager of Eligibility and Enrollment Emily Dreher said.

KC CARE assists people in the community with all things Medicaid.

They said tens of thousands of low-income children, people with disabilities, the blind and elderly in Missouri are at risk of losing Medicaid coverage. 

People enrolled in the CHIP and Ticket to work programs must pay May invoices in order to be covered beginning June 1st — and continue monthly payments. 

If it’s not paid, the person will be dropped from the program, according to KC CARE. 

People on Spend Down also need to start paying their spend down amount to MO HealthNet in May to have coverage June 1.

Dreher with KC CARE said for spend down that could cost people anywhere from $20-$2,000 a month. 

“If you don’t pay it at all and say you do go to the doctor, you’ll have to pay full price, or maybe Medicaid will cover it, so you’ll have to deal with the billing side of things,” Dreher said, “or you might not be able to receive treatment or be able to afford to pay for your prescription drugs.”

She said people who use these important programs may be unaware of the changes. That’s why they’re working to educate the community. 

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“There is assistance and free help across the state,” Dreher said. 

Will Cann is a patient at KC CARE. He’s now looking into his coverage and said being turned away for care or paying a higher price would just add distress. 

“It’s not a good thing to find that out when you’re at the doctor’s office,” Cann said. “That will delete some of the things that are necessary for me, for my everyday living, that will make me struggle a little bit harder for me to get the things that I need.”

Dreher said people impacted should get a letter in the mail with information on how to pay. 

If you need assistance in navigating this process, KC CARE Health Center said its staff can help. 

If you would like to get in touch with a Health Insurance Navigator with KC CARE, you can call (816) 777-2776 or send an email to: Navigators@kccare.org.