Missouri’s Medicaid Enrollment Dips Amid Federal Insurance Exchange Glitches

HealthCare.gov has been plagued by technical issues since its Oct. 1 launch. | Photo by Michael Stacy
The state says data submitted via healthcare.gov was riddled with errors. | Photo by Michael Stacy

The number of Missourians on Medicaid has decreased by about 14,000 since the federal health insurance marketplace launched on Oct. 1. The state says application data forwarded by the online exchange is fraught with errors and duplication.

Missouri’s Medicaid program expected to see an uptick in enrollment with the rollout of HealthCare.gov because outreach efforts would attract more people — particularly children — who were already eligible. Experts said the improving economy primarily caused the declining Medicaid enrollment, though some say startup problems with the state’s transition to online applications also may be a factor.

“I think it’s going to take some time to get all the kinks worked out,” said Ryan Barker, a vice president at the St. Louis-based Missouri Foundation for Health, a nonprofit that works to reduce the number of uninsured in the state.

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