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Mo. drops rate for high-risk health insurance

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(UPI/Jeff Roberson/POOL)

A report by Elana Gordon, KCUR

Missouri's new high-risk insurance program is dropping premiums by as much as 25 percent. 

The state launched the pool this summer as part of the federal health law.

State insurance director John Huff says, so far, only a couple hundred people have enrolled.

He says lowering the monthly premiums, which currently range from $250 to $1,000, will hopefully change that. 

"Well, I hope it makes health care coverage more affordable and accessible for Missourians.  That's the intent," Huff says.

The new rates start February first. 

The federally subsidized pool is aimed at people who've been either flat-out denied private health coverage or are offered it at an extremely high rate.

The pool is scheduled to phase out in 2014, once insurance companies can no longer deny people health coverage.

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