For years in most states, Medicaid eligibility had been limited to disabled adults, seniors needing long-term care and very low-income parents with their children.
Then along came the Affordable Care Act. It was designed to grow health insurance coverage across the board. One of its tenets was to expand Medicaid coverage beyond the extremely poor and disabled to include all adults earning up to 138 percent of federal poverty levels.
But in 2012, the Supreme Court gave states the chance to opt out Medicaid expansion.
As of January 1st, the first Americans enrolled in health insurance via the Affordable Care Act began receiving coverage.
According to Professor Sidney Watson of the Saint Louis University Health Law Policy Center, a little more than 33,000 Missourians have signed up for plans through the federal Marketplace so far, leaving another 467,000 Missourians eligible to enroll. Almost 26,000 Missourians have enrolled in Medicaid.
“We think most of them are children,” Watson said. “Parents were going to the Marketplace and realizing their children were eligible.”
A deadline has been extended for some Illinois state retirees to submit certain health insurance documents because of the federal government shutdown.
Recipients of various state health insurance programs need to provide IRS documents by a late October deadline in order to prove that their dependents should still be eligible to receive state health insurance coverage. But as the federal shutdown drags on, the transcripts aren't being released by the IRS.
Starting on October 1, Missourians will be able to shop for health insurance through a new online marketplace. It’s one of the biggest changes in health insurance coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act.
But there’s still a lot of confusion about how the exchanges will work.
St. Louis Public Radio's Véronique LaCapra spoke with the Missouri Foundation for Health’s Ryan Barker to try to get some answers.
How will Missourians access the new health insurance options?
A new report released on Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services finds that average premiums in the new online health insurance marketplace opening Tuesday will be lower than expected in most states.
In Missouri, the average monthly insurance premium for a family of four making $50,000 a year will start at $72. That’s for the lowest level of coverage, after a tax credit.
But prices will vary depending on where in the state you live.
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius speaks to reporters at St. Louis City Hall, while St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, St. Louis City Health Director Pam Walker, and St. Louis County Health Director Delores Gunn look on (left to right).