Missouri Minute: Missouri’s scholarship programs underfunded as tuition rises; advocates worry Medicaid patients may not be aware of changes to system

Here are today’s top business headlines from across Missouri:

Missouri’s college scholarship programs underfunded at time of rising tuition

Many high-achieving and low-income high school students bound for college get an assist from the state of Missouri in the form of modest scholarships, but budget constraints have left programs that help both groups of students underfunded and unable to keep up with rising tuition. About 6,700 students who’ve scored in the top 3 percent on the ACT receive a $3,000 Bright Flight scholarship annually from the Missouri Department of Higher Education. Nearly 50,000 more students receive the needs-based Access Missouri scholarship, worth up to $2,850 a year. However, the department is struggling to maintain even the current funding. Read more

Advocates worry Medicaid patients may not be aware of changes to system

On May 1, an additional 250,000 Medicaid recipients in Missouri will be enrolled in a managed care system, and advocates and health policy experts say they are worried that not enough has been done to make them aware of the changes. Currently, three companies provide managed care for most Medicaid recipients in 54 counties along Interstate 70. Beginning May 1, recipients in all of Missouri’s 115 counties will be under managed care. Read more

China’s Ant hikes MoneyGram bid, tops rival offer by KC’s Euronet

China’s Ant Financial has sweetened its bid for MoneyGram International Inc. by over a third, beating a rival offer to gain approval from the U.S. electronic payment firm’s board, although it still faces regulatory hurdles. Ant’s plans to expand globally with the acquisition of one of the biggest firms in remittances hit a major snag last month when Leawood, Kansas-based Euronet Worldwide Inc. made an unsolicited offer and openly lobbied U.S lawmakers, saying Ant’s proposal created a national security risk. Read more

Trump administration changes ACA rules, but insurers say more fixes needed

With the “repeal and replace” effort at an impasse on Capitol Hill, the Trump administration has released a set of fixes to stabilize the Affordable Care Act’s shaky insurance markets for next year. The insurance industry quickly said the changes, released Thursday evening, don’t go far enough. Kelly Cannon, a spokeswoman for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, released a statement saying the company applauded the changes, but noted that the federal administrator who spearheaded them said that they “are not a long-term cure.” Read more

Four financial advisory firms in KC area merge into one

Fourteen wealth management advisors and 35 total associates in four Kansas City area firms have combined operations to create Infinitas Coordinated Wealth Counsel, advising a combined $1.47 billion in assets. Gateway Financial, Pegasus Capital Management, Summit Wealth Advisors and Trinity Planning Group have merged, partly prompted by mutual use of Commonwealth Financial Network as a dealer broker. Read more

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