Though the state may have said that it won’t be running its own marketplace, the issue drags on.
The state of Missouri has already informed federal officials that it will not be creating its own health insurance exchange, but this has not closed the issue altogether.
The extension of the deadline by the Department of Health and Human Services has encouraged further discussion.
The state has now been talking about whether a health insurance exchange may be run by the state at some point in the future. The deadline change, itself, hasn’t altered the state’s chances of establishing the online coverage marketplace right away, since the Legislature won’t be meeting again until January, and the new deadline is in December and Proposition E was passed by voters.
However, they state could still apply to run their own health insurance exchange later on.
The Affordable Care Act has said that every state must have either a state run or federally operated health insurance plan marketplace available online by January 1, 2014, in order to provide individuals, families, and small businesses the chance to comparison shop and purchase coverage and receive subsidies, when eligible. The states have the choice as to whether or not they want to create and implement those exchanges, themselves, or whether they’d like to hand the responsibility over to federal officials.
Missouri has chosen not to create its own health insurance program, so the federal government will now be stepping in to take on this duty. That said, a letter from the Department of Health and Human Services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, has said that the states that have opted out at the start will still have the opportunity to apply to take on the operation of the exchange at a later time.
According to Chris Moldendrop (R-Belton), he intends to use the meeting of the Legislature in January as an opportunity to introduce a bill for Missouri to form its own health insurance exchange program. He has called this the “final exercise in state sovereignty” when it comes to the healthcare reforms and the law that was created by President Obama in 2010.