KCUR News
12:05 am
Mon January 17, 2011

Missouri Lowers Premiums For Pre-existing Condition Pool

Kansas City, MO – Missouri's high risk insurance program has announced it's dropping premiums by as much as twenty five percent.

The state launched the pool this summer as part of the federal health law. But state insurance director John Huff says only a couple hundred people have enrolled in it so far. Huff says lowering the monthly premiums, which range from about $250 to $1,000, will hopefully change that.

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

The new rates start February first. Benefits and enrollment information is available at www.mhip.org.

The program is aimed at at people who've been either flat-out denied health coverage or are offered it at an extremely high rate. A Missouri resident must be uninsured for at least six months and have a pre-existing health condition in order to be eligible.

The program, made possible through an $81 million federal grant, is scheduled to phase out in 2014. That's when insurance companies will no longer be able to deny people health coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

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