On Tuesday, August 4th Missouri became the 38th state to vote in favor of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. This effort, endorsed by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, will make all adults in the state ages 19 to 65 whose income is 133% of the federal poverty level or below eligible for Medicaid benefits, in addition to those who already qualify. This is projected to include about 300,000 low-income adults across the state.
Independent studies, including comparisons to states that have already enacted expansion, have projected that the expansion here will boost job creation by about 16,000 jobs per year for five years, as well as expand our state’s economic output by $2.5 billion. Others have also found that Medicaid expansion could save the state as much as $1.3 billion by 2026, with the additional federal dollars offsetting current state health spending.
This voter-approved expansion will take effect on July 1, 2021. Between now and then, the Missouri legislature will convene for a regular session during which the initial costs of the expansion and other aspects of Medicaid will be addressed. As always, the Chamber will monitor the legislative session and report back to members with relevant information.