Missouri blind program to continue with eligibility cap

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 | 4:56 p.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri budget negotiators have agreed to keep a program that provides health coverage for the blind, but they've also attached some strings.

A House and Senate conference committee decided Wednesday to provide $25 million in cash to the blind health care program — about $3 million less than full funding.

Negotiators agreed to limit the program to those earning up to three times the federal poverty level, or about $33,500 annually for an individual. They also agreed to require premiums from those earning more than 150 percent of the poverty level.

The benefits for the blind had been one of the bigger issues to resolve in Missouri's $24 billion budget plan for next year.

The budget bills are expected to receive final approval from the House and Senate by Thursday.


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