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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri will allow health insurance companies to continue offering policies that otherwise would have been cancelled under the terms of the new federal health care law.

Gov. Jay Nixon announced Thursday that the state will let insurers sell individual and small-group policies in 2014 that were to be canceled because they didn't meet federal coverage requirements taking effect next year.

Nationwide, more than 4 million people who buy their own insurance have gotten received notices because their plans didn't meet the requirements of the federal law.

Missouri's decision comes after President Barack Obama recently proposed to allow those customers to keep their existing insurance policies for another year.

 
Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The chairman of a special Missouri House panel is outlining potential Medicaid changes that could expand coverage to lower-income adults while reducing it for children.

Jefferson City Republican Rep. Jay Barnes offered a detailed financial estimate Wednesday showing the potential changes could save about $42 million in revenues by the time the changes are fully implemented in 2021.

That figure assumes Missouri would spend more money to add adults living in poverty to its Medicaid rolls and subsidize private insurance policies through a federal online marketplace for adults earning slightly more than the poverty level.

It assumes savings to the state by eliminating Medicaid coverage for some children and blind adults. Barnes says they could get policies through the federally run health insurance exchange.

Published in Local News

MIAMI (AP) — Millions of people across the country are trying to figure out what to do after receiving notices that their individual health insurance policies are being discontinued because they don't meet higher benefit requirements of the federal Affordable Care Act.

They can buy different policies directly from insurers for 2014 or sign up for plans on their state exchange. While lower-income people could see lower costs because of generous government subsidies, many middle-class families and individuals are likely to get a rude awakening when they access the websites and realize they'll have to pay significantly more for health insurance.

Those not eligible for subsidies generally will receive more comprehensive coverage than they had under their soon-to-be-canceled policies, but they'll also have to pay a lot more for it.

Published in National News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri businesses could face significantly higher costs for workers' compensation insurance next year.

An organization that projects workers' compensation insurance costs is forecasting that Missouri insurers will see an 11.6 percent increase in their claim costs in 2014. The projections by the National Council on Compensation Insurance often are used by insurance companies to set the premiums charged to businesses.

The increase is driven partly by a new Missouri law that seeks to shore up a financially troubled fund for disabled workers who suffer additional on-the-job injuries. The law shifts some types of claims out of the Second Injury Fund and into traditional workers' compensation insurance.

Businesses also could face a higher surcharge - on top of their regular workers' compensation premiums - to help replenish the Second Injury Fund.

 

Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn's administration says the statewide average workers' compensation rate has dropped 4.5 percent.

Officials say the figure set by a national rating agency continues a downward trend that has saved Illinois employers $315 million in insurance premium costs since 2011.

The National Council on Compensation Insurance issued the figure Monday. Insurance companies often use the number to figure workers' compensation premiums.

James Stephens is deputy director of the Department of Insurance. He says the drop reflects an overall 13.3 percent decrease in the rate in the last three years.

Quinn's office says the decrease is because of a money-saving workers' compensation reform package the Democratic governor signed into law in 2011.

The rate changes take effect Jan. 1 if the Insurance Department accepts them.

Published in Local News

   CHICAGO (AP) - A new law says Illinois schools must offer catastrophic insurance coverage for student athletes.

   Gov. Pat Quinn signed the law Sunday at Eisenhower High School in the Chicago suburb of Blue Island.

   Rasul "Rocky" Clark played football for Eisenhower until he was paralyzed from the neck down when he was tackled during a 2000 game.

   His care was provided through a $5 million insurance policy held by the school district. When that policy hit its limit, he relied on Medicaid and his mother. Clark's story fueled legislation sponsored by state Sen. Napoleon Harris, a Democrat from Harvey and former NFL player.

   Under the legislation effective next year, a school's minimum policy will cover $3 million in aggregate benefits or five years of coverage.

 

Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Major insurance companies already have received more than 6,300 claims from people whose property was damaged during recent tornadoes in the St. Louis area.

The state insurance department said Friday that it has received data about the May 31st tornadoes from insurance companies that make up about three-quarters of the state's homeowners insurance market. They reported that 6,321 claims have been filed so far.

The insurance department said most of those claims relate to damaged homes, though some also could be for vehicles.

The department says it's monitoring the situation to ensure consumers receive the benefits due under their policies.

The worst damage from the high winds and multiple tornadoes that struck the night of May 31 occurred in St. Charles and St. Louis counties.

Published in Local News

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