health exchange

Thousands of Kansans and Missourians signed up for insurance on the federal exchange last week, though the pace has slowed since the first several robust weeks of the second Affordable Care Act open enrollment period.

New figures released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services show that during the week ending Jan. 16, 11,797 new or renewing enrollees in Missouri brought the state total to 209,336.

The total in Kansas reached 80,064 with the addition of 4,228 signing up.

healthcare.gov

Now that healthcare.gov has undergone some major tweaks, supporters of the Affordable Care Act hope that a lot more people will go online and compare insurance rates. But what might surprise shoppers is how rates and subsidies vary depending on their address.

In Missouri, insurance buyers in different parts of the Show-Me State are seeing some of the most extreme cost differences in the country. 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released the first official tally of how many Americans signed up for health insurance through the new exchanges during their first month of operation.

Enough Kansans have purchased a plan through the website, to fill an entire Kansas town—specifically, the town of Hartford, population 371. That figure led Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts to declare the health law a failure.

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Whether or not you agree with the Affordable Care Act politically, you might be wondering what your health insurance options will be under this new law, particularly if you don't get insurance from your employer.

Jessica Hembree, program officer at the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, and Sandy Praeger, Kansas insurance commissioner, join us to answer questions about the new health insurance marketplaces in Kansas and Missouri. 

401(k) 2012 / Flickr--Creative Commons

In recent weeks, states like Colorado, California and Oregon have been hit hard by advertising campaigns designed to let people know about their state-created health marketplaces. State health marketplaces are a central part of the Affordable Care Act, but information about Missouri’s health marketplace has been hard to find. And that’s not just because the state decided not to set one up.

KHI News Service

In a little less than two months, Kansans will be able to begin shopping for individual health insurance plans through the new, online marketplace called the exchange. Most of the plans will be sold by three companies.

According to Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, they'll be the same three companies that provide the bulk of health insurance in Kansas now: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, Blue Cross of Kansas City, and Coventry.

bigstock.com

For more than a year, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and others at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have been courting states to take part in setting up and running a health insurance exchange. But Missouri, home of an enthusiastic governor and opposing legislature, keeps sending mixed messages. Now, with Friday’s deadline looming for states to commit to joining the feds in setting up an exchange, it appears as though HHS will be flying solo in the Show-Me state.

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Neither Kansas nor Missouri will be involved in setting up a health exchange, according to announcements by both governors Thursday.

Lidor / Flickr

Proposition E specifically asks voters:

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Two ballot questions going before Missouri voters in November won’t cost or save the state any money, according the State Auditor’s office.

KCUR

This fall, voters in Missouri will face a number of decisions: picking state and congressional representatives, the President.  But also on the ballot will be a measure that like two years ago, has to do with the federal health law. 

Board Suspends All Health Exchange Activity

Jan 26, 2012
Elana Gordon / KCUR

The use of about $27 million in federal funds to help create a health insurance exchange in Missouri has come to a complete halt. 

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Children's Mercy gets out of the HMO business, Kansas Dems seek to increase school funding & a bill could override Missouri governor's authority in creating a health care exchange: A daily digest of headlines from KCUR.

A State Senate committee heard testimony today on legislation designed to block Governor Jay Nixon from creating a health insurance exchange.