Governor Jay Nixon (D) has until Friday to take action on bills the legislature passed this year, or they will automatically become law next month. One of those bills is Senator David Sater’s (R-Cassville), that would hire a company to verify if those on Medicaid are actually eligible to receive benefits.
“I think the Governor will either sign the bill or just let the bill go into existence because it’s a cost-savings and it makes us more efficient in running the Missouri HealthNet program,” says Sater.
Nixon has withheld more than $115 million from the current fiscal year’s budget, citing slower-than-expected state revenue. Sater says that makes his bill even more important.
Some argue that the Department of Social Services should check for eligibility, not a third party.
“A third party that specializes in this particular verification of eligibility can do a better job than what the department can do,” says Sater. “Even though our department does a very good job of analyzing who should be on Medicaid and who should not, they don’t have the correct personnel and the ability to make sure all the people that are supposed to be on Medicaid are eligible.”
The company would flag those it thinks aren’t eligible but the Department of Social Services would make the final decision. Sater says the measure could save the state millions of dollars.