With a sluggish economy and an ever-tightening state budget, Mississippi is cutting Medicaid eligibility to 100% of the poverty level amid protests from some lawmakers who say the changes from the current 135% of poverty level are cruel.
Using current federal poverty guidelines, that means the income cutoff is $9,310 for one person instead of $12,569. Warren Jones, M.D., executive director of the program, said the changes will be difficult, but they are necessary to keep the program financially solvent.
The changes are set to take effect July 1, and 65,000 Medicaid recipients have been sent letters saying they are being removed from the program. About 60,000 of those will be covered by Medicare, but there are concerns that the Medicare drug benefit will leave some with burdensome out-of-pocket expenses.