affordable care act

4:11 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Illinois expanded its Medicaid program. Missouri didn’t. How are those choices working out?

In his hospital room at Touchette Regional Hospital in Centerville, patient Steven Glispie finishes signing the paperwork to enroll in Medicaid.
Credit Véronique LaCapra / St. Louis Public Radio


Listen to this story as it aired on KBIA's Under The Microscope.

For years in most states, Medicaid eligibility had been limited to disabled adults, seniors needing long-term care and very low-income parents with their children.

Then along came the Affordable Care Act. It was designed to grow health insurance coverage across the board. One of its tenets was to expand Medicaid coverage beyond the extremely poor and disabled to include all adults earning up to 138 percent of federal poverty levels.

But in 2012, the Supreme Court gave states the chance to opt out Medicaid expansion.

Illinois is one of 25 states that went ahead with expanding the program. Neighboring Missouri did not.

We looked into the impacts of those differing decisions. Here’s what we found out.

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Health & Wealth Feature
8:00 am
Thu March 27, 2014

As enrollment deadline draws near, Missourians share their health insurance stories

Top: Rex Sharp, Kathryn Richter, Theresa, Angel, and Jospeh Pham with their mother, Julia and Dan McDaniel; Middle: Ann Hampton, Tom Perry and his wife, a sign outside the enrollment event at the Springfield Library Center, Mark James; Bottom: Pamela and Edmund Brown, table at the Life Betterment Fair in Springfield, Gene W. Griffith, Layla Earl
Credit Katie Hiler / KBIA


We’ve been hearing a lot about the Affordable Care Act from a number of politicians - Governor Jay Nixon, Senator Roy Blunt, and, of course, President Obama, to name a few.  These people can talk about the number of people insured and weigh the cost versus economic impact. But behind those numbers they’re citing are people, Missourians. Those dollar figures they throw around, that’s money in and out of our pockets. So how do Missourians who have been trying to utilize the new healthcare law feel about it? 

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3:01 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Obama Administration Will Allow More Time For Health Insurance Sign-Ups

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 3:41 pm

The Obama administration says it will give people more time to sign up for health insurance through the federal online marketplace.

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7:16 am
Tue March 25, 2014

GOP state senators reject Medicaid expansion

Credit Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Several Republican state senators are making it clear that there will be no expansion of Medicaid eligibility this year in Missouri.

Five GOP senators took to the Senate floor Monday as the Legislature returned from spring break to say they will block any attempt to expand Medicaid eligibility during the session that ends in mid-May.

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7:54 am
Mon March 24, 2014

MU law professor involved with Supreme Court case

Credit WallyG / FLICKR

An associate professor at the University of Missouri School of Law is involved in a case that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court this week.

Josh Hawley is on a team of about 15 lawyers working on Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Inc. The case addresses whether businesses can use religious objections to avoid a requirement to provide insurance coverage for birth control for employees.

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Health & Wealth Update
1:27 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

U.S Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack explains healthcare enrollment deadline

With the deadline approaching, Missouri residents signed-up for health insurance at an enrollment event March 8 at The Library Center in Springfield.
Credit Katie Hiler / KBIA

The Affordable Care Act’s online health insurance marketplace has been open for business since October 1 and technical issues that plagued the website early on have mostly been resolved. Yet Missouri residents have been slow to sign-up for health insurance under the new law. According to the nonprofit group Kaiser Family Foundation, only 40 percent of Missourians eligible to enroll have actually chosen a plan. I spoke with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack about why signing up is important for Missouri residents, particularly in rural areas.  

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9:02 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Study finds thousands of Mo. Latinos have new health insurance options

A report issued Tuesday by the federal Department of Health and Human Services found that almost 200,000 Latinos in Missouri may have new options for health coverage. The report says they might qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or for lower costs on premiums  through the Health Insurance Marketplace. 43,000 of the eligible Missouri Latinos are currently uninsured, the report says.

Aaron Swaney, outreach and enrollment specialist at the Family Health Center, said the center does have a sizable portion of patients who are uninsured and Latino.

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4:55 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Nixon pushes Medicaid expansion for mental health services

Gov. Jay Nixon wants to expand Medicaid services to cover uninsured citizens looking for mental health services.
File Photo KBIA

Gov. Jay Nixon is reiterating his push for Medicaid reform, saying expanding the program would cover the 50,000 currently uninsured Missourians who need mental health services.

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Health & Wealth Update
11:50 am
Wed January 22, 2014

More Medicaid debate expected in the 2014 Mo. legislative session

Credit nomadsoul1 / dreamstime

At his sixth State of the State address Tuesday, Gov. Jay Nixon renewed his push to expand Medicaid, the health insurance program for the low-income population, in Missouri. He was careful, though, not to mention the “e” word itself. Instead, the governor called lawmakers to work on reforming the program.

“I look forward to working with all of you to bring affordable health coverage to working families in Missouri, and reform Medicaid the Missouri way,” said Nixon.

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Science, Health and Technology
6:30 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Federal health insurance enrollment deadline nears

Credit Rosemary / Flickr

This Monday marks another big deadline under the Affordable Care Act. That's the last day that people can sign up for insurance through the online marketplace and have their coverage begin on January 1.

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Health & Wealth
9:22 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Success with takes patience, persistence

Aaron Swaney helps Jeannie Wyble with her application for insurance through the online health marketplace at Family Health Center on Dec. 5, 2013. Wyble's application was stuck in "in progress" limbo for weeks.
Credit Harum Helmy / KBIA News


On an afternoon in early December, 60-year-old Columbia resident Jeannie Wyble sits in a small cubicle at Columbia’s Family Health Center, telling Aaron Swaney, a application counselor, about the heart attack she suffered in 2002.

“I quit smoking when I had my heart attack,” Wyble said. “Smoked my last cigarette on the way to the ER, never smoked another one.”

At the time, Wyble was still insured through her husband’s union plan. But after the heart attack, the insurance company began increasing her monthly premium. Wyble says at one point, she had to pay almost $500 a month.

“And then when we found out they were going to jump even more again the following January,” Wyble said. “It was very clear to us that we couldn’t pay my premiums anymore and that mine would just have to be dropped. In effect, [the insurance company] decided to get rid of me, and it worked. They did. They got rid of me.”

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Under the Microscope
5:00 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

With deadline looming, patients sign up for insurance through

Aaron Swaney helps Jeannie Wyble with her application for insurance through the online health marketplace at Family Health Center on Dec. 5, 2013. Wyble's application was stuck in "in progress" limbo for weeks.
Credit Harum Helmy / KBIA

Consumers who want to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act have until Monday to enroll in a plan that would start on Jan. 1. But still has kinks that frustrate many consumers and navigators. KBIA’s Harum Helmy followed one Columbia resident’s journey with the website. 

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Health & Wealth Update
7:31 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Lukewarm response to enrollment outreach in rural Missouri

Credit Alan Cleaver / flickr


Listen to KBIA's Harum Helmy talk to Kate King, a navigator who's been helping with efforts of spreading awareness about HealthCare.Gov.

As an Affordable Care Act navigator, Kate King has been traveling to counties throughout central Missouri spreading awareness of and getting Missourians enrolled in  

King works with the Central Missouri Area Agency on Aging, which serves a 19-county area, 17 of them rural. The agency is part of a nonprofit alliance that received $750,000 in federal grants in August to help with outreach. 


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Science, Health and Technology
3:31 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

More Missourians turn to healthcare exchange

Credit Compiled by Kelsey Proud, St. Louis Public Radio / Flickr

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports 4,124 Missouri residents have selected a health insurance plan through the federally run online marketplace

The department released the figures Wednesday. HHS said the insurance exchange had more than 31,000 applications from Missouri through Nov. 30. The applications sought coverage for nearly 63,000 people.

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7:52 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Missouri sued over limits on health reform advice

Some health care advocates are suing the state of Missouri over legal limits on the counselors enlisted to help consumers navigate the new online health insurance marketplace.

A new Missouri law requires insurance counselors to get state licenses to help online shoppers negotiate the federal insurance exchange. Missouri's Republican-led Legislature opted against setting up a state-run exchange.

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