POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - Governor Jay Nixon spoke at Three Rivers College in Poplar Bluff to discuss his plans to provide health care coverage for an additional estimated 300,000 Missourians.
The Governor said the step would benefit not only uninsured working families and the economy, but also Missouri taxpayers because the federal government will cover 100% of the costs for the first three years.
"This is the smart thing to do, and the right thing to do," said Governor Jay Nixon.
Currently federal law allows for an expansion of Medicaid to cover low-income Americans who can't afford health insurance by raising the eligibility level to 138% of the federal poverty level.
According to the Governor's office, a family of four living at 138% of the federal poverty level in 2012 made $31,809 a year.
Because federal funding will cover 100% of the costs for calendar years 2014, 2015, and 2016, expanding health care coverage to those 300,000 uninsured Missourians would involve no state dollars, according to Nixon, during those years.
Beginning in 2017, the state share would be 5% of the cost, and then it would increase to 6% for 2018 and 7% for 2019.
Beginning in 2020, the state would pay 10% of the cost.