Missouri officials will revive a scaled-down version of a program to provide health care for disabled workers hoping to avoid the problems of the past.

One of the victims of the 2005 Medicaid cuts was the Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD) program. It will return under MO Health Net, renamed Ticket-to-Work. State Social Services Director Deborah Scott says provisions are in place to keep the costs of Ticket to Work from skyrocketing as they did under MAWD. Some disabled workers received Medicaid coverage for doing as little as an hour of work a month.

It will allow more than 3,000 disabled workers to access health care coverage through the state while keeping their jobs. Also, nearly 2,000 workers in the state’s various Sheltered Workshops will be able to get health care through MO Health Net. Those numbers are considerably less than covered through the MAWD program.

Costs have forced the cutback, according to Scott, who notes that concerns about the cost of the current Medicaid program sparked discussions about an overhaul of it. She says the state couldn’t sustain its increases. Scott believes MO Health Net will keep the costs from spiraling out of control.

The MO Health Net legislation, SB 577 , is on the governor’s desk.

Download/listen Brent Martin reports. (:60 MP3)