Mis­souri en­acts changes to food and health care pro­grams

The Kansas City Star - - Local - BY JA­SON HAN­COCK jhan­[email protected]­star.com Ja­son Han­cock: 573-634-3565, @J_Han­cock

Mis­souri has waived work re­quire­ments for food stamps for 90 days and ex­tended Med­i­caid coverage to el­i­gi­ble Mis­souri­ans who test pos­i­tive for COVID-19, all in re­sponse to the on­go­ing pan­demic.

The changes, an­nounced Thurs­day af­ter­noon, are part of a se­ries of pol­icy changes Mis­souri Gov. Mike Par­son said are aimed at en­sur­ing “Mis­souri’s most vul­ner­a­ble cit­i­zens that their es­sen­tial needs will be met.”

Med­i­caid coverage will be avail­able to Mis­souri­ans ages 19-64 who test pos­i­tive for COVID-19 and meet the in­come and re­source el­i­gi­bil­ity guide­lines. A spokes­woman for the de­part­ment did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to clar­ify the guide­lines.

In ad­di­tion to the changes to food stamps and Med­i­caid el­i­gi­bil­ity, the state will not ter­mi­nate el­i­gi­bil­ity for any Med­i­caid par­tic­i­pant un­less the in­di­vid­ual re­quests it or moves out of state.

There will also no longer be a re­quire­ment that physi­cians have a re­la­tion­ship with the pa­tient be­fore pro­vid­ing tele­health ser­vices. There will be no co-pay for any ser­vices pro­vided by means of tele­health.

Most of the changes will con­tinue through the end the fed­eral emer­gency dec­la­ra­tion tied to COVID-19.

The state is also ex­tend­ing all child care sub­sidy ben­e­fits for 90 days. The pro­gram as­sists el­i­gi­ble Mis­souri par­ents and guardians with pay­ments for child care.

“The bot­tom line is that any Missourian cur­rently re­ceiv­ing Med­i­caid or child care ben­e­fits does not need to do any­thing at this time for those ben­e­fits to con­tinue,” Par­son said.

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