healthcare.gov

healthcare.gov

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

nomadsoul1 / dreamstime

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.

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.

Missouri Supreme Court
Americasroof / Wikimedia Commons

A federal judge on Thursday granted a preliminary injunction against Missouri's law requiring of a state license to serve as a navigator to help consumers sign up for coverage through the new health insurance marketplace.

An attorney for the St. Louis-based plaintiffs calls the ruling by U.S. District Judge Ortrie D. Smith a "huge victory." Messages seeking comment from state officials were not immediately returned.

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.

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 HealthCare.gov 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.”

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 HealthCare.gov still has kinks that frustrate many consumers and navigators. KBIA’s Harum Helmy followed one Columbia resident’s journey with the website. 

Alan Cleaver / flickr

 

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

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 Healthcare.gov outreach.