Spend Down Program in Missouri Under Review

6 years 7 months 3 weeks ago Monday, February 27 2012 Feb 27, 2012 Monday, February 27, 2012 1:18:00 PM CST February 27, 2012 in News
By: Emily Kissee
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JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Department of Social Services officials said Monday their review of the Medicaid Spend Down program in the state is well underway as it nears the halfway mark in the process.

The review started in December and should be completed by May. The point of the review is to make sure Spend Down cases are consistent with federal standards and consistent among cases in Missouri. Spend Down is a program for those who exceed the Medicaid qualificiation income limit, but can meet the limit by paying part of the costs of care which can be deducted from their income to make them eligible for further care.  

Department of Social Services Communication Director Seth Bundy said no new rules are being created during the review process.

 "Everybody has been doing it a little different and since it is a federal program we need to make sure we are playing by the federal rules."

Bundy said, "It's understandable that there has been some confusion but it's important to work together to solve the issue."

Members of the division found individuals had paid the spend down amount even though they had no covered medical expenses. Lester Peters said ancy change in the policy could end up costing participants a lot more.

About one percent, or 9,000 people out of about 900,000 on Medicaid in Missouri are part of the Spend Down program by submitting monthly medical bills.

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