Missourians may have fewer health plans to choose - Quincy Herald-Whig | Illinois & Missouri News, Sports

Missourians may have fewer health plans to choose

Posted: Updated:

BY DAVID A. LIEB
Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri residents could have fewer choices for health care plans than those in many other states when enrollment opens next week for new online insurance marketplaces.

The federal Department of Health and Human Services says Missouri residents will have an average of 17 qualified health plans from which to choose in its federally run health insurance exchange. That's substantially fewer than the national average of 53 health plan options.

The federal government is running Missouri's health insurance exchange and those in 35 other states that opted not to set up their own online insurance marketplaces. The shopping sites are a key part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act signed by President Barack Obama and are intended to help people without employer-sponsored health insurance find coverage at affordable rates. The insurance exchanges also could be used by small businesses.

Missouri's projected statewide average of qualified health plans in the marketplace was half as many as in Kansas and less than a third as many as in Illinois. It's roughly equivalent to the average of 16 plan options in Wyoming, which has a substantially smaller population than Missouri.

Federal officials have not released a specific list of health insurers participating in Missouri's insurance exchange, nor detailed information about the various plans in advance of the Oct. 1 opening of enrollment. But they have provided a glimpse of the potential cost.

The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that a family of four with a $50,000 income could face average monthly premiums of $798 for a benchmark policy known as the "second-lowest-cost silver plan." But that cost could decline to $282 a month after federal subsidies.

A similar plan for a 27-year-old individual earning $25,000 could carry an average monthly premium of $220, which could be reduced to $145 with subsidies.

The actual cost to enrollees will vary depending on their personal circumstances and the insurance policies they choose.

Individuals and families could lower their monthly premium costs by choosing a "bronze" plan that has higher deductibles or copayments, or could pay more for monthly premiums by picking a "gold" or "platinum" policy that has lower out-of-pocket payments for visiting a doctor or hospital.

The subsidies, which are in the form of tax credits, vary depending on people's income, family size, age, where they live, the plans they pick and whether they use tobacco.

  • Local HeadlinesLocal HeadlinesMore>>

  • UPDATE: Pike County, Mo., man jailed after claiming he accidentally shot wife

    UPDATE: Pike County, Mo., man jailed after claiming he accidentally shot wife

    Thursday, August 21 2014 4:57 PM EDT2014-08-21 20:57:41 GMT
    PIKE COUNTY, Mo. -- Pike County authorities are investigating what they were told was an accidental shooting that left a woman with a wound to the head. The woman in her lower 40s was in serious condition Thursday...
    A Pike County, Mo., man has been charged with felony domestic assault after he allegedly shot his wife. Pike County Sheriff Stephen Korte said in a release that Steven Rusher, 47, was arrested after an incident at 14399 Pike 340 in southern Pike County near the village of Middletown. Korte said Rusher called 911 at 4:21 p.m. Wednesday and told dispatchers he had accidentally shot his wife.
  • IDNR official says historic American elm tree needs to be removed

    IDNR official says historic American elm tree needs to be removed

    Saturday, August 23 2014 2:51 AM EDT2014-08-23 06:51:48 GMT
    It's official. The ol' tree is a goner. The gigantic American elm that sits just off the southeast corner of the intersection at 20th and Spring streets cannot be saved and is tentatively scheduled to be removed...
    It's official. The ol' tree is a goner. The gigantic American elm that sits just off the southeast corner of the intersection at 20th and Spring streets cannot be saved and is tentatively scheduled to be removed...
  • Committee: Public needs to know condition of Adams County Jail

    Committee: Public needs to know condition of Adams County Jail

    Saturday, August 23 2014 2:13 AM EDT2014-08-23 06:13:40 GMT
    Members of the Adams County Jail Exploratory Committee agreed Friday that if the county needs a new jail, it needs to make sure the public knows why. The committee was formed earlier this month to explore whether the...
    Members of the Adams County Jail Exploratory Committee agreed Friday that if the county needs a new jail, it needs to make sure the public knows why. The committee was formed earlier this month to explore whether the...
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Quincy Herald-Whig. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.