skip to main content

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

Lawmakers consider changes to Maine's Clean Election law, Florida offers a big no comment over "arranged" migrant flights to California, and the Global Fragility Act turns U.S. peacekeeping on its head.

play newscast audioPlay

A bipartisan effort aims to preserve AM radio, the Human Rights Campaign declares a state of emergency for LGBTQ+ people, and the Atlanta City Council approves funding for a controversial police training center.

play newscast audioPlay

Oregon may expand food stamp eligibility to some undocumented households, rural areas have a new method of accessing money for roads and bridges, and Tennessee's new online tool helps keep track of cemetery locations.

Legislation Would Help Working Missourians with Disabilities

play audio
Play

Friday, March 3, 2023   

For Missourians with a disability, earning too much money, or having a spouse earn too much, can mean losing important Medicaid health coverage.

State Rep. Melanie Stinnett, R-Springfield, said she observed this problem when young people she had worked with as a speech therapist shared some of the struggles they faced after entering the workforce. Stinnett introduced House Bill 970 to increase how much both an individual and their spouse can earn before losing Medicaid benefits. She said Medicaid covers indispensable services, such as personal-care assistance.

"Individuals that come and help these individuals get up, get out of bed, get showered and dressed sometimes, so that they can get out and get to work," she said.

HB 970 would raise the amount a single Missourian with a disability can earn without losing benefits from roughly $41,000 to $88,000 per year, and married couples from $88,000 to $116,000. Although this may sound high, Stinnett said, the cost to pay for personal-care assistance out of pocket can be substantial, and many private insurance companies don't cover it.

An in-home health aide for just three hours a day in Missouri can cost more than $25,000 a year.

HB 970 also would remove the first $50,000 a spouse earns from consideration in the couple's total income. She said it's an important piece of the bill that could solve an unintended problem.

"We have inadvertently disincentivized marriage," she said, "in that individuals with disabilities are often choosing to either not get married, or sometimes even choosing to get divorced, so that they don't lose those necessary benefits."

Missourian Rachel Baskerville, who lives with a disability, said she feels lowering the impact a spouse's income has on one's eligibility is a matter of equalizing things.

"Non-disabled people don't have to look at certain restrictions with who they fall in love with and who they marry," she said, "and so I feel like, as a person with a disability, I shouldn't have to look under certain guidelines to see who I can fall in love with."

Stinnett also introduced House Bill 971 this session, which would require state agencies to submit annual reports showing steps they've taken to recruit, hire and advance individuals with disabilities.


get more stories like this via email
According to the Mars Veterinary Health study, nearly 41,000 additional veterinarians will be needed to meet the needs of companion animal health care by 2030. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

In Arizona, telemedicine is now not only available for humans but also for people's beloved animals. Last month Governor Katie Hobbs signed Senate …


Environment

play sound

Ruybal Fox Creek Ranch sits in a dramatic canyon in the foothills of southern Colorado's San Juan Mountains, right next to the Rio Grande National …

Health and Wellness

play sound

North Dakota officials are urging people receiving health coverage through a key public program to stay on top of their renewal if they are still elig…


According to the report, there was a 14% increase among Nevada seniors accessing high-speed internet between 2016 and 2021. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

Nevada has received an overall score of 43 in the nation for the health and well-being of its seniors in the state. According to the United Health …

Social Issues

play sound

A court hearing next week could help determine whether an eastern South Dakota mayor will face a recall election. Events are rare for this state…

A new measure in this year's report shows many older adults spent more than 30% of their income on housing. (Adobe stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Indiana ranks closer to the bottom of U.S. states where you will find healthy seniors living than the top, according to a new report. …

Social Issues

play sound

The last day of school for Texas kids is typically one of elation, but for children in rural areas with high poverty rates, it also can mean …

Environment

play sound

Virginia environmental advocates are not happy with the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision on the Clean Water Act. The ruling in Sackett versus E-P-…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021