L.M., Jasper County

L.M., a 14-year-old in Joplin, depends on Medicaid for her health care. Her parents are uninsured and their low-income status qualifies L.M. for Medicaid coverage as a child.

In January of 2019, L.M.’s parents took her to an appointment at her pediatrician to get a flu shot, only to be told that L.M. had mysteriously lost her Medicaid coverage in September 2018. Despite still qualifying, L.M.’s family discovered that she’d been dropped after failing to fill out renewal paperwork – paperwork their family had never received because Medicaid had L.M. listed at an address they’ve never lived at. Her family has lived in their current home since 2012, and Medicaid should have their updated address on file. Because of this administrative error, L.M. had to reapply for Medicaid and was not re-enrolled until April of 2019, after months of application processing.

“It didn’t make sense that Medicaid didn’t have our address, and it was frustrating that nobody notified us that she’d been dropped. If she had gotten really sick while we were waiting for her to be re-enrolled, I don’t know what my family would’ve done.”

L.M.’s story is one of more than 85,000 children who were dropped from the Medicaid rolls since the beginning of 2018 due to administrative errors. These system failures have forced families to choose between shouldering expensive medical bills or forgoing treatment, when Medicaid should have been there to support them. When will Gov. Parson and his administration take responsibility for these life-threatening errors and re-enroll every person who was erroneously kicked off of Medicaid?