- Associated Press - Friday, January 1, 2016

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A program to expand prenatal health coverage is set to begin Jan. 1.

Gov. Jay Nixon on Thursday announced the program will begin accepting applications Friday.

The “Show-Me Healthy Babies Program” was created to provide insurance for pregnant women who earn too much to qualify for traditional Medicaid but don’t have affordable private-sector insurance.

Nixon in 2014 signed a bill to establish the program. But the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in September reported (https://bit.ly/1gbMxRm ) it failed to get off the ground for more than a year.

A news release from Nixon’s office says the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently approved the state’s implementation plan.

The program is expected to expand access to health care to an estimated 1,800 pregnant women each year.

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