Missouri health insurance exchange
Fewer options, about average cost on Missouri marketplace
By Carla Anderson
October 18, 2013
Missouri is among the states using the federal health insurance marketplace after legislators and voters sent a consistent and unified message to Gov. Jay Nixon: no state-run health insurance marketplace. Legislation to establish a marketplace was introduced, but failed to pass, in both 2011 and 2012. In November 2012, voters passed a referendum that prevented Nixon from establishing a state-run exchange by executive order as a handful of other governors had done.
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Missouri, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, and Coventry are selling policies through the federal marketplace in Missouri. On average, consumers will have a choice of 17 policy options. That’s much lower than the national average of 53 options.
While a small number of insurers often predicates higher premium costs, Missouri consumers will see premiums near the national average. According to a report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the average cost for a bronze plan —the lowest-cost option — in Missouri is $245 a month. The national average for a bronze policy is $249 a month.
According to HHS, about 800,000 Missouri residents are uninsured and eligible to purchase insurance through the new marketplace. HHS also estimates that 93 percent of those people would qualify for subsidies to purchase insurance through the exchange or be eligible for Medicaid through the expansion allowed by the Affordable Care Act. However, Missouri has rejected the Medicaid expansion. That means an estimated 226,525 people won’t qualify for either Medicaid or tax subsidies.
Missouri residents who want to learn about the marketplace may have limited luck getting help. With the state playing next-to-no role in the marketplace, community groups, health care providers and insurers are trying to get the word out about the exchange. While states that are running their own exchanges or partnering with the federal government have received significant grant money for outreach campaigns, Missouri has received less than $5 million. The website for the Missouri Department of Insurance does include a list of organizations and individuals who have been licensed as navigators.
Missouri health insurance exchange links
State Exchange Profile: Missouri
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation overview of Missouri’s progress toward creating a state health insurance exchange.
Missouri Department of Insurance
Assists people insured by private health plans, Medicaid, or other plans in resolving problems pertaining to their health coverage; assists uninsured residents with access to care.
(800) 726-7390 / email@example.com