* Missouri will NOT have its own health insurance exchange.
* Missouri will NOT have expanded Medicaid to comply with the Affordable Care Act.
No State Health Insurance Exchange For Missouri
While the governor of Missouri Jay Nixon did want a state marketplace for health insurance, he couldn’t convince state legislators to vote for one. The window of opportunity has been missed and that means all residents of the state who want to find insurance for 2014 will need to go to the federal marketplace.
October 1, 2013 is the date that the federal exchange is supposed to open. At that time, both individuals and families can compare health plans that are offered by different insurers. Enrollment in a plan can happen anytime after that date and the insurance will be valid starting 1/1/2014.
The Affordable Care Act was signed by President Obama and most parts of the plan were upheld by the Supreme Court after they were challenged. Missouri is one of the states where the ACA and the increased government participation in health care is very unpopular, thus the failure of the state health exchange.
On July 12, 2013, Governor Nixon signed a bill that would require all health insurance exchange navigators to have a state license before they can help people choose insurance plans on the the federal marketplace. As the start date is less than 3 months away and no framework is yet in place for granting those licenses, there is concern on both sides of the issue. Proponents of the ACA are accusing Nixon of trying to slow down and derail ObamaCare in Missouri by requiring these licenses while others are saying that it is necessary to make sure consumers are protected by making sure that all counselors are qualified.
Medicaid Expansion For Missouri Is Dead For 2014
Just like with the failed state health insurance marketplace, expanded Medicaid was supported by the governor but failed to make it through the House and Senate. Governor Nixon is a Democrat and many of the other legislators in the state government are Republicans who are anti Obama Care. This clashing of beliefs led to the inability of the state to get expanded Medicaid passed for 2014.
There is a possibility that attitudes will change in coming years and the topic be revisited. However, even if Medicaid is expanded in some year after 2014, the state will not be eligible for the full array of incentives and dollars that the U.S. government is passing out in 2014.