Missouri officials have announced that they will be decreasing the rates for the high risk healthcare pool by 23 percent for both current and new participants in the program.
In 2010, Missouri created a new health insurance pool for the highest risk group, but though it was anticipated that there would be about 3,000 people who joined the program, less than 600 have done so, as many claim that the premiums are simply too expensive.
The reduction in the rates are being made possible by both federal funds and policyholder premiums, which will make up about $81 million.
According to director John M. Huff from the Missouri Department of Insurance, the new range of monthly premiums of $137 to $601, which is down from the previous range in premiums that were between $178 and $780. The amount that a person will need to pay will be based upon the number of deductions and the age of the individual.
A statement released by Huff explained that these significant decreases in premiums will hopefully bring more affordable health coverage to those who need it most. He added that the funding for the high risk group “is now insuring more than 550 Missourians who previously had no health coverage because they could not find affordable coverage in the commercial market.”
He noted that even if every qualifying individual joined the program, it would make only a tiny difference in the overall uninsured population of Missouri, which is currently larger than 700,000. That said, Huff insists that this will make health insurance available to many residents of the state who have pre-existing medical conditions and who could not otherwise afford it.