Federal Government Extends Health Care Program for Uninsured Adults in St. Louis City and County

ST. LOUIS, December 16, 2015 — The State of Missouri has received a one-year extension of its successful “Gateway to Better Health” (Gateway) Pilot Program from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Gateway provides primary, specialty and urgent care coverage to approximately 21,000 uninsured adults in St. Louis City and County, ages 19-64, through a network of community providers and is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Social Services in partnership with the St. Louis Regional Health Commission (RHC). Before the extension, the program was scheduled to expire on December 31, 2015.

The extension of the Pilot Program preserves up to $30 million in annual funding for important community healthcare in St. Louis’ urban core through December 31, 2016. These funds will assist in providing a bridge for safety net providers and for approximately 21,000 uninsured patients to coverage options until long term options are developed in Missouri.

“As we in Missouri continue to evaluate long-term solutions for healthcare coverage for those in poverty, we are grateful to receive an extension of the Gateway to Better Health Demonstration Project from our Federal partners,” said Robert Fruend, Jr., chief executive officer of the St. Louis Regional Health Commission. “We are deeply grateful to our Federal delegation, state and local partners for their strong support in ensuring that the healthcare safety net remains in place in the St. Louis region.”

Under the terms of the extension, Gateway will continue to cover individuals up to 100% of the federal poverty level (FPL) for primary, specialty and urgent care through December 31, 2016. For more information about Gateway eligibility, visit

The RHC will continue to coordinate, monitor and report on the Demonstration Project. Since the Pilot Program began in July 2012, Gateway has annually paid for more than 100,000 medical visits and 220,000 medications for the uninsured in St. Louis. Gateway also prevents an estimated 50,000 emergency department visits each year.

For more information, please contact Robert Fruend, Jr. at (314) 446-6454 x.1131.