The Health and Welfare Unit addresses low-income health care issues and problems related to state-administered public assistance programs. The unit provides a vital lifeline for low-income individuals in need of health care, income support, food assistance, and critical work supports. The Unit includes two specific projects that address these issues: the Public Benefits Project and Advocates for Family Health.
The Public Benefits Project helps people resolve problems they experience with programs administered by the Missouri Department of Social Services, including but not limited to Blind Pension/Supplemental Aid to Blind, Childcare, EBT/Quest card issues, Food Stamps, Medicaid for disabled and elderly (called Medical Assistance) including Medicaid Spenddown, Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB), Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB), home and community based services, and TANF/Temporary Assistance (cash welfare benefits - used to be AFDC). We represent people in administrative hearings and in negotiations with the State Agency. We also provide counsel and advice regarding public benefits matters and conduct community education presentations in our areas of expertise.
Advocates for Family Health assists children, families and pregnant women who are eligible for Missouri's Medicaid program, which is now called MO HealthNet. This project was originally initiated to assist people who are enrolled in Medicaid Managed Care plans, but was expanded to address problems that our clients were experiencing in obtaining or maintaining their Medicaid health care coverage. MO HealthNet managed care recipients choose a health plan and a doctor to provide their medical care. If they have questions or need to resolve a problem, they can call Advocates for Family Health. The project acts as an independent problem solver for individuals who need assistance in obtaining health care from their managed care plans. The project also assists people with a wide range of Medicaid eligibility matters, such as denials of applications for benefits, wrongful terminations of benefits, and problems with payment of premiums. We also participate in community education activities and public forums and task forces.