KCUR News
9:01 am
Thu May 20, 2010

Underlying Health Conditions Affect One In Four Missourians

Kansas City, Mo. – The new federal health law includes changes to insurance rules that could affect as many as a quarter of Missourians.

About 1.2 million people between the ages 18 and 64 have a diagnosed health condition in Missouri. That's according to a new study from the national consumer advocacy group Families U.S.A., which recently analyzed data from government surveys.

Ron Pollock is Families U.S.A.'s Executive Director and says the report found that chronic conditions affect about one in four Missourians. But he says that's probably an underestimate.

"They may not be diagnosed because they may be uninsured or underinsured," says Pollock. "As a result, they may feel that they cannot afford going to a physician."

Pollock says people with pre-existing conditions can currently be denied health coverage. He says they stand to benefit from new insurance rules that take effect in a few years. The regulations will prohibit insurers from denying coverage or charging higher premiums to people due to their health status.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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