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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The federal government says several Missouri entities will share up to $1.8 million in grants to help people sign up for insurance through a new online marketplace.

Primaris Healthcare Business Solutions will get more than $1 million to lead a coalition of 11 health care and social service organizations that are supposed to raise awareness about health insurance options.

An additional $750,000 will go to the Missouri Alliance of Area Agencies on Aging for outreach and education efforts.

The Missouri grants are among $67 million being awarded nationally by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide "navigators" for participants in health insurance exchanges.

Enrollment through the online marketplaces begins Oct. 1. Missouri's health insurance exchange is being run by the federal government.

 

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri House member and his wife are going to court over what they say is a requirement that their group health insurance include coverage for contraception.

The Thomas More Society filed a federal lawsuit in St. Louis on Wednesday on behalf of Paul and Teresa Wieland. Paul Wieland is a Republican from Imperial.

According to court documents, the family previously opted out of coverage for contraceptives, sterilization or abortifacients. The lawsuit contends the Wielands have been told their coverage must now include contraception and sterilization because of the federal health care law.

The Wielands contend their religious, free speech and parental rights have been violated. The lawsuit seeks a declaratory judgment and an injunction.

 

Published in Local News
A new report says the national health law will push up the cost of medical claims in both Missouri and Illinois.

The study by the Society of Actuaries says the amount paid by insurers who sell policies to individuals in Illinois will rise more than 50 percent by 2017. The jump is even greater in Missouri, where the cost of medical claims could grow by almost 60 percent.

The report says costs will rise largely because of spending on sicker people and other high-cost groups who will gain coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The study did not make similar estimates for Employer-sponsored plans.

The White House disputes the study's claims because they didn't consider other cost-saving aspects of the new law.
Published in Health & Fitness
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - While new marketplaces are being created for buying health insurance, many states are facing cultural and language hurdles in trying to promote and explain the changes to ethnic and hard-to-reach populations.

States with large and diverse immigrant populations have the added challenge of reaching people who speak limited or no English, and they have little time to do it. Enrollment in the exchanges begins in October.

California has the largest minority population of any state, about 22.3 million people. That's followed by Texas with 13.7 million, New York with 8.1 million, Florida with 7.9 million and Illinois with 4.7 million.

Spanish is the second most popular language, followed by Chinese.

Advocates say the success of the national health reforms will depend on the success of enrolling these communities.
Published in Health & Fitness
CHICAGO (AP) -- Illinois has received conditional federal approval for its plan to provide a health insurance marketplace where thousands of state residents will shop for insurance beginning Oct. 1.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a conditional approval letter Wednesday to Gov. Pat Quinn with a list of six conditions.

Conditions include signing a memorandum of understanding with the federal government for how the state will monitor and approve health plans sold on the exchange by March 1 and a separate memorandum of understanding for how the state will run consumer outreach activities by April 1. Sebelius’ letter acknowledges that “Illinois is working under intense timelines.”

The state is partnering with the federal government to offer the online marketplace.
Published in Local News
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