Saturday marks the last chance for Missouri residents to enroll in the federal high risk insurance pool.
There are currently 2,440 Missourians in the program, according to the Missouri Department of Insurance. The pool is similar to the state’s own high risk pool, in that it covers people who are either flat-out denied private health coverage or are offered it at an extremely high rate.
The federal pool differs in that it’s cheaper, but it also requires a person to be uninsured for at least six months. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid provided $81 million to fund the program in Missouri.
All of the state-based federal high risk pools began in 2010, as part of the federal health law. Coverage through it is meant to be temporary and will expire next year. That's when new regulations kick in, prohibiting insurance companies from denying people coverage due to pre-existing health conditions.
Last month, HHS announced it was ending new enrollment in the high risk pools in all states, citing cost concerns and limited funding.