Nixon’s New Medicaid Proposal Focuses On Small Businesses

Jay Nixon addresses the crowd at a 2012 event. | Photo courtesy of Creative Commons
Gov. Jay Nixon has proposed a plan for Medicaid to cover a portion of employers' health insurance costs for employees earning below 138 percent of the poverty level. | Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Gov. Jay Nixon’s new plan to expand Medicaid in Missouri targets businesses with fewer than 150 employees and would use federal funding to pay about 60 percent of the employers’ cost of health care premiums to their low-wage workers.

The governor said his plan, called Missouri Health Works, would pay a portion of employers’ health insurance costs for employees earning below 138 percent of the poverty level, or $27,310 annually for a family of three. That’s roughly equal to an employee working 40 hours a week at $13 per hour.

Nixon said the proposal addresses the “very real, costly challenges” facing small businesses that may have difficulty meeting new requirements under the Affordable Care Act. The legislature has less than three weeks to act on the proposal.

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