Bill to Raise Medicaid Asset Limits Heard in Committee

This week the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and Health heard a bill that would raise the asset limits for the permanent and totally disabled individuals enrolled in MO HealthNet (Medicaid).  Sponsored by Senator Tom Dempsey (R-St. Peters), SB 322 would raise the asset levels from the current $1,000 for individuals to no greater than $5,000 and from $2,000 now for couples to under $10,000 for couples.  The bill would also exclude calculations from medical savings accounts and independent living accounts.

Numerous organizations, including the Missouri Catholic Conference, spoke in support of the bill. One of the problems with the low asset levels is that it prevents individuals on Medicaid from saving for emergencies or items not covered by their health care.  For example, a low income disabled person who is currently living in their own home, might be forced to go to a nursing home if they didn’t have money to fix a broken furnace.  This could result in more costs to the state.  The assets limits in Missouri have not been raised since the 1970s.

The committee has taken no further action on the bill.

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