An inmate of the Department of Corrections (DOC), a public institution, is not eligible for MO HealthNet (MHN) benefits while the individual is incarcerated. Inmates who are admitted as an inpatient for 24 hours or more to a medical facility outside the correctional facilities may be eligible for MHN benefits. The inmate must meet all other eligibility factors for the specific program. Eligibility is limited to the days the inmate is inpatient in the medical facility.
The DOC and Family Support Division (FSD) have a partnership that allows DOC to assist incarcerated individuals with applying for MHN benefits prior to release. Applications can be submitted by DOC prior to release to allow FSD to make an eligibility determination. DOC then notifies FSD that a participant has been released and MHN benefits are approved.
SB 514 (2019) enacted RSMo 217.930 and 221.125 and requires that MHN benefits are not closed, but are suspended for participants who become incarcerated in correctional facilities or jails. Benefits are suspended and medical claims will NOT be paid during his/her incarceration. However, if inpatient care is necessary, a new application is not required for a suspended participant. When a suspended participant is released, his/her eligibility must be restored, if still eligible, without requiring a new application.
NOTE: Incarcerated individuals who were NOT suspended, but applied for MHN benefits due to an inpatient stay will NOT be suspended. His/her eligibility is based ONLY on the inpatient stay and would require a new application prior to release.