Medicaid Suspension for Justice-Involved Individuals


Until the 2019 legislative session, Missouri terminated an individual’s Medicaid upon arrest and incarceration. Termination occurred whether the individual was convicted of a crime or merely held pre-trial. Most states only suspend Medicaid in these circumstances. Suspension allows incarcerated individuals to reactivate their health insurance immediately upon release so that they can maintain access to treatment and essential medications. Individuals leaving confinement with health insurance are less likely to return to jail or prison.

Missouri Appleseed Medicaid Suspension for Justice-Involved Individuals project

“Someone with schizophrenia, who may need monthly injections, those are the folks we worry about the most.”

— Dr. Jacqueline Landess, assistant professor of psychiatry at St. Louis University

  • In Missouri, an estimated 14 percent of incarcerated men and 31 percent of incarcerated women have mental illness. A majority are believed to have substance use disorders including opioid addiction, according to the state Department of Corrections.
  • During the 2019 legislative session, Missouri Appleseed worked with St. Louis University law students, psychiatrists, and nonprofits to understand the legal reasoning behind Missouri’s termination policy. The group developed policy recommendations that would better serve Missourians reentering society. Members also testified in favor of Missouri state bills legislating Medicaid suspension rather than termination.

“Because we know that the first few days and weeks after getting out of jail or prison are the most important in terms of access to health care, this time gap between application and approval of Medicaid is a key reason we are hoping to make the change to suspension (of coverage).”

— Nicole Wemhoff, St. Louis University Law Student


On May 16, 2019, Missouri Senate Bill 514 was truly agreed to and finally passed with language changing Missouri’s policy from termination to suspension.

Missouri Appleseed will continue to work to ensure individuals reentering society have access to health care by monitoring Missouri’s implementation of Senate Bill 514. Successful implementation will require communication and collaboration on the state and local levels.

By planting the seed for policy reform, we advocate for systemic and sustainable change that builds stronger families, reduces recidivism, and creates safer communities. To support our work, please consider giving a donation today.

Missouri Appleseed - Finola Prendergastt

Finola Prendergast

Director of Research

Dr. Prendergast received a B.A. from Yale University and a Ph.D. in English from Notre Dame.

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Todd Kaye

Board President

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP

A partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, where he focuses on mergers and acquisitions, securities law, and general corporate matters, Mr. Kaye holds a J.D. and an M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. He also serves on the Board of Directors of College Bound. Mr. Kaye has been a member of Missouri Appleseed’s Board of Directors since November 2017.

Anisha Moorhead

Board Vice President

Lindenwood University

Ms. Moorhead received her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Missouri – Columbia. She holds an M.B.A. in Marketing and an M.A. in Corporate Communication in Promotions from Lindenwood University. She is the former Director of Communications and Annual Programs for SSM Health Care – St. Louis, a former Lambert St. Louis Airport Commissioner and Forest Park Advisory Board Member, and a member of the 2011-2012 class of Leadership St. Louis. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis with an emphasis in Critical Race Theory at University of Missouri – St. Louis and an Adjunct Professor of Communications at Lindenwood University. Ms. Moorhead has been a member of Missouri Appleseed’s Board of Directors since November 2017.

Hugh A. Eastwood

Board Secretary

Attorney at Law

Mr. Eastwood is a litigator, mostly in civil rights, who has won significant verdicts and settlements for victims of government misconduct, for whistleblowers, and for those harmed by breach of trust and contract. He received his B.A. and J.D. from Yale, where he has also taught. Before law school, he managed the site design competition for the rebuilding of the World Trade Center at Ground Zero. Mr. Eastwood serves on the boards of several St. Louis nonprofits and has been a director of Missouri Appleseed since November 2017.

Molly Carney

Board Treasurer

Staff Attorney, ACLU of Missouri

Ms. Carney is a staff attorney at ACLU of Missouri. Before that, she served as in-house counsel at Wells Fargo Advisors, where she supported the brokerage business with a variety of legal matters. Previously, Ms. Carney clerked for Chief Judge Rodney Sippel of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and spent several years practicing trusts and estates law. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. She has been a member of Missouri Appleseed’s Board of Directors since April 2019.

Andrew Schlichter

Board Nominations and Governance

Schlichter Bogard & Denton

Mr. Schlichter is a trial attorney at Schlichter Bogard & Denton, where he focuses on class actions and complex civil litigation. He received his B.A. from Georgetown University and J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and has been a member of Missouri Appleseed’s Board of Directors since November 2017.

Brandon Hall

Armstrong Teasdale, LLP

Mr. Hall is an associate attorney at Armstrong Teasdale, LLP, where he practices corporate and health care law. He obtained his B.A. in Political Science and Public Policy from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at SUNY Albany and his J.D. with concentrations in both health and employment law from St. Louis University School of Law. Prior to and during law school, Mr. Hall worked extensively in government relations, including on state and federal health policy issues.

Cindy Finney Henry

Attorney at Law

Ms. Henry earned her B.A. in Justice Systems from Truman State University and her J.D. from St. Louis University. She spent nearly two years as an Assistant Circuit Attorney in St. Louis City, where she prosecuted cases ranging from misdemeanors to sex crimes and child abuse. Ms. Henry then spent several years representing juveniles in delinquency and criminal proceedings as part of the Missouri Public Defender’s Juvenile Defense Unit. Most recently Ms. Henry taught several courses as an adjunct professor in the Criminal Justice Program at St. Louis Community College. Ms. Henry has been a member of Missouri Appleseed’s Board of Directors since November 2017.

Tali Katz

Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C.

Mrs. Katz is an attorney at Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C. She practices litigation with a focus on corporate defense work. She previously worked for the Office of the District Attorney General in Nashville, Tennessee, where she led the domestic violence prosecution team. In 2014, Mrs. Katz received the Outstanding State Government Official award for her work as a prosecutor. Mrs. Katz served as a director of The Mary Parrish Center for victims of domestic and sexual violence in Nashville and has been a director of Missouri Appleseed since January 2018.

Ray Lin

Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment

Mr. Lin received his B.A. from Harvard University and his J.D. from Columbia University. He is Chief Legal Officer for Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment. He is a retired partner at Latham & Watkins LLP, where his practice focused on the representation of private equity firms in mergers and acquisitions and capital market transactions. He serves on the Board of Visitors of Columbia Law School. Mr. Lin is Chairman of National Appleseed’s Board of Directors and has been a member of Missouri Appleseed’s Board of Directors since November 2017.

Jessica Moore

Head of Enterprise Strategy

Arianna Muckerman

The Centene Corporation

Arianna Muckerman is the for the Centene Corporation. She received her B.A. from Boston College and her M.P.H. from Washington University in St. Louis. She has been a member of Missouri Appleseed’s Board of Directors since July 2021.

Wilford Pinkney Jr.

St. Louis Mayor’s Office

City of St. Louis, Office of Violence Prevention

Wilford Pinkney Jr. currently serves as the Director of the Office of Violence Prevention for the City of St. Louis. The Office of Violence Prevention provides strategic direction and oversight for the City of St. Louis’ efforts to create safe and healthy neighborhoods free of violence.

Mr. Pinkney previously served as the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Children, Youth, and Families for the City of St. Louis. He has overseen the development of a Crisis Management System focused on building healthy and vibrant communities by addressing trauma and increasing access to care. Prior to joining the administration, Pinkney was a FUSE Executive Fellow leading a cross-sector group of stakeholders in the development of a comprehensive pretrial reform plan in the City of St. Louis.

Wilford holds a B.S. in Organizational Management from Mercy College, a Masters in Public Administration from New York University, and a Master of Arts in Political Science from the CUNY Graduate Center. He is currently a doctoral candidate in Political Science at the CUNY Graduate Center, where he specializes in public policy and American politics.

Alexandra Rankin

Upstream USA

Alex Rankin is the Associate Director of State Policy with Upstream USA and has worked to advance access to health care throughout her career. Prior to joining Upstream, Alex worked as the Director of Government Affairs for a large health foundation where she was responsible for engaging and educating policymakers on various health policy topics, including Medicaid and maternal and reproductive health. Alex graduated from Saint Louis University School of Law in 2015 with a concentration in health law and is a licensed attorney through the Missouri Bar. Alex lives in St. Louis with her husband, daughter, and dog and enjoys exploring new parks and the vibrant St. Louis foodie scene.

Missouri Appleseed green

Annie Beattie

St. Louis County Justice Services

Ms. Beattie is a staff attorney for the St. Louis County Justice Services Pre-Trial Release Program. She received her B.A. from the University of Virginia and her J.D. from Georgia State University College of Law. Ms. Beattie, who also serves on the founding Board of Directors of Gateway Children’s Charity, has been a member of Missouri Appleseed’s Board of Directors since November 2017.

Michelle Clardy Dobbs

Caleres, Inc.

Associate General Counsel

Missouri Appleseed - Liza Weiss

Liza Weiss

Founding Director

Liza Weiss is the Executive Director of Missouri Appleseed. Liza is a St. Louis native and former public interest attorney. She holds a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from George Washington University Law School. Liza’s professional background includes work with the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, the Committee for Public Counsel Services, and the Children’s Law Center (DC).

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