health insurance

University of Missouri

 Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin said the University of Missouri will pay health insurance premiums for graduate student employees next year.

Loftin announced the move Wednesday at a meeting where faculty expressed concerns about recruiting graduate students for next year.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reported Loftin said the university would cover insurance costs, but he did not give more specifics.

The university told graduate assistants in August it could no longer pay for their health insurance premiums because of a recent IRS interpretation of the Affordable Care Act.

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Following outcry from both students and faculty, University of Missouri-Columbia Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin announced Friday that the University will "defer implementation" of its decision last week that would have stopped graduate student health insurance subsidies.

The University will pay previously promised health insurance subsidies to eligible graduate students.

MU says this reversal of the decision comes after “conversations with external experts and leadership, along with consultation with peer institutions, compliance experts and internal constituents.” 

But, as the phrase "defer implementation" implies, the complicated issues behind MU's original decision have not changed. MU has just adjusted its current plan.

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University of Missouri Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin announced Friday that the University will “defer implementation” of its decision last week that would have stopped graduate student health insurance subsidies.

The University will continue to pay health insurance subsidies to eligible graduate students.

When asked what had changed between last Friday and this Friday, Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin said simply “time.”

Emerald O'Brien / KBIA

  The announcement Friday that the University of Missouri will no longer provide subsidies for health insurance to graduate students is provoking a strong response from students and faculty.

Ben Warner is an assistant professor of communication at the University of Missouri. He went to the Claire McCaskill's book signing event at the Columbia Mall Monday to get more than just a signature – he was also looking for advice from McCaskill for students. 

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Boone County Recorder of Deeds Nora Dietzel said June 26 was a busy morning for her.

That’s when the US Supreme Court announced their decision requiring all states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Dietzel said she got a call almost immediately from one couple who’d had their application on file for almost a year.

The cost of health insurance premiums - the amount you pay each month for your plan -  will likely go up in 2016. If state governments approve insurers’ proposed hikes, the average cost for the most common health plans on the federal and state health insurance marketplaces will increase by 14 percent, according to an analysis of proposed rates by HealthPocket, an insurance research and comparison site.

Hope Kirwan / KBIA

Several months remain until the next open enrollment period for health insurance, but any insurance company looking to raise the cost of their plans next year had to submit their proposed increase by June 1.

In Missouri, seven insurance companies submitted rate increases for 11 different plans, with proposed raises ranging between 11 and 28 percent. Almost every company who submitted a rate increase cited the rising cost of healthcare as a reason for the change.

Health money
Tax Credits / Flickr

 A health insurer has agreed to pay Missouri $4.5 million for covering certain elective abortions and failing to cover some autism treatments.

Brian Turner / Flickr

  A Missouri lawsuit seeking class-action status accuses three insurance agencies of failing to safeguard consumer data from hackers who recently breached health insurer Anthem's computer networks.

A lawsuit first filed in February in St. Louis County on behalf of a Richmond, Missouri, woman was amended Tuesday to add three plaintiffs who allege personal data stolen during the breach is responsible for fraudulent tax returns filed in their name.

Hackers in December or January broke into an Anthem database that included names, employment details and Social Security numbers.

MU Will Continue to Stay in the Health Insurance Business

Mar 31, 2015
columns at university of missouri
File Photo / KBIA

Colleges across the nation are discussing whether or not to continue to offer health insurance plans to their students. High plan costs for students and provisions in the Affordable Care Act are some of the main factors driving the decision.

  It’s no secret that health insurance can be a confusing topic.

“There's not a ton of health insurance literacy,” said Aaron Swaney, Outreach Enrollment Specialist for the Family Health Center in Columbia. ”But that's true from people who have never had health insurance before to people who work in the healthcare field.”

More than 100,000 Missouri residents have signed up for health insurance through a federally run website during the first month of enrollment. 

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, which offers subsidized coverage under the federal health care law.

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 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.

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.

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.

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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.

cindyt7070 / Flickr

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.