health insurance

Missouri Foundation for Health

  Open enrollment for health coverage in 2015 is underway, and some Missourians satisfied with their current health insurance may be surprised to learn that parts of their plans, including premiums, are changed for the coming year. The Cover Missouri Coalition, a program of the Missouri Foundation for Health, is encouraging consumers to review their options during this year’s open enrollment period.

I spoke with Ryan Barker, Missouri Foundation for Health’s Vice President of Health Policy, about changes in this year’s health insurance marketplace.


   

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Some Missouri residents could have more choices but also see higher costs when enrollment begins for health insurance plans offered through a federally run website.

Open enrollment starts Saturday for people wanting to purchase insurance for 2015 through HealthCare.gov, which offers subsidized coverage under the federal health care law.

epSos .de / Flickr

 Last month the U.S Department of Health and Human Services announced that more than 150,000 Missourians have signed up for health insurance under the ACA and many will be paying $60 or less a month for their plan after tax credits.

I talked with Karen Edison, founding director of the MU Center for Health Policy about why this could be called a success in Missouri.

jfcherry / Flickr

The federal government agency that oversees applications for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act says that the computer problems which plagued early sign-ups are to blame for problems at a suburban St. Louis processing center.

Maureen Lewis-Stump

Medicaid expansion has been a widely talked about subject throughout the state of Missouri. Medicaid is federally funded state healthcare program for those that do not make enough money to be their own healthcare, or their employer does not provide it for them.

The Medicaid policy in place now only covers those who make less than $4,500 a year total for a family of four. It also allows subsidies paid to those who make more than $89,000 a year. Those in between this gap are left without health insurance.

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Vitualis / Flickr

A new report says more than 150,000 Missouri residents signed up for health insurance policies through a federally run website.

Nicholas Eckhart / Flickr

An attorney representing an Oklahoma business challenging a federal contraception coverage mandate is starting a nonprofit group in Missouri.

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.

jfcherry / Flickr

The Missouri Department of Insurance has filed an emergency rule for the licensing of people that will help state residents search for health plans on an online marketplace. Legislation signed this year by Gov. Jay Nixon creates state requirements for the helpers, who are called navigators.

People applying for a state license will need to pass an examination. The cost for applying will be $25 for individuals and $50 for an entity. Licenses will be valid for two years. Requirements for a navigator license will include being age 18 or older, living in Missouri or keeping a business in the state. Those wanting to be navigators also should not have committed any acts that would grounds to refuse an insurance producer license.

pinprick / FLICKR

 Update: Gov. Jay Nixon signed SB 262 into law on Friday, July 12. 

A bill that was pushed by the state's insurance agents association could create a barrier in getting Missourians enrolled in time for the new online health insurance marketplace  one of the key parts of the health care reform law.

Tax Credits / Flickr

The percentage of people who get health insurance through their employer has dropped significantly in Missouri during the past decade.

A report released Thursday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says that fewer than 63 percent of Missouri residents had employer-sponsored health insurance in 2011, down from 75 percent in 2000.

Missouri's decline was greater than national average of a roughly 10 percentage point drop.

Dan Verbeck / KBIA

Attorney General Chris Koster wants a federal judge to clarify a recent ruling that struck down a Missouri law exempting moral objectors from mandatory birth control insurance coverage.

nih.gov

The Missouri Senate has approved legislation requiring insurance companies to cover medical services provided electronically if they cover for the same service delivered in person.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

The Missouri Senate has given preliminary approval to a bill that would study the cost of making insurance companies provide coverage for eating disorders.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

This week, we'll examine the Affordable Care Act's impact on farmers, and hear how one enzyme manufacturer was able to grow its business.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Marilyn Andersen raises angora goats and llamas for wool that she spins and weaves in her studio at Two Cedars Weaving in Story City, Iowa. She also has a part-time job coordinating distribution of local produce through a service called Farm to Folk. Neither effort comes with health insurance.

Joe Gratz / Flickr

A federal judge has blocked a new Missouri law requiring insurers to offer policies excluding birth control coverage because it conflicts with a federal law mandating such coverage.

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A long-sought proposal to extend University of Missouri worker benefits to same-sex domestic partners has been expanded to include committed couples of the opposite sex, as well as other unrelated dependent couples, such as roommates.

covermissouri.org

In Missouri, an estimated 835,000 people don't have health insurance – that's about 14 percent of the state's population. But in the next couple of years, that figure is going to change. Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld most of the federal health care law, about half a million Missourians will join the rolls of the insured – either through Medicaid, the private insurance market, or with the help of subsidies provided by the federal government. The percentage of uninsured will drop to five percent of the population.

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Some of Missouri's largest insurance companies will be refunding consumers almost $61 million this month under a provision of the federal healthcare law. Insurers who failed to spend at least 80 percent of premium-dollars on medical care and quality improvement have to repay the difference to consumers.

Contraception debate moves to the Missouri House

Apr 25, 2012
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Debate continues in the Missouri legislature over the Obama administration's "contraception mandate," which will require health insurance to include coverage for birth control. In this week's Health & Wealth update, a House committee hears testimony on a largely symbolic bill, opposing the mandate.

Another roadblock for Missouri health exchange

Jan 11, 2012
missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Last session, Republicans in the Missouri Senate blocked the creation of a state-run health insurance exchange. The online insurance marketplace is required under Obama's health reform law, but has become a political football in states like Missouri, with a Republican-controlled legislature. In this week's Health & Wealth update, Republican senators move to put one more roadblock on the path to a state exchange.

Regional news from the KBIA newsroom, including:

Missouri Health Premiums Below National Average

Nov 18, 2011

Missouri families pay close to twenty percent of income on health insurance premiums. If that sounds like a lot, stay away from Mississippi. Families in that state pay the highest percentage of their income toward health insurance: 28 percent. This, according to a new study by the Commonwealth Fund.

Insurance Premiums Hit Record High

Sep 27, 2011

Health care premiums are at a record high – up nine percent since last year. A survey released Tuesday shows the average family is now paying over 15 thousand dollars a year on health care premiums. KBIA’s Jacob Fenston reports the rising costs are affecting Missourians as well.