The Obamacare Missouri state exchange is run by the federal government. This is because Missouri’s government has opted out of running their own exchange. So, the Federal government runs the Obamacare Missouri exchange for them.
The healthcare marketplace in Missouri is responsible for signing up the people who lack healthcare insurance. The Obamacare Missouri exchange is a place where private health insurance polices–that have met Affordable Care Act regulations–can be purchased.
Missouri is one of 36 states that will let the Federal government run their healthcare marketplace. The Obamacare Missouri state exchange for Missouri residents can be found at: Healthcare.gov.
Missouri voters have overwhelmingly rejected Obamacare in Missouri:
For a 27 year old (cheapest age) the weighted average in St. Louis, MO (monthly premiums before federal tax credits) is:
- Cheapest Bronze plan costs $147
- Cheapest Silver plan costs $196
- Cheapest Gold plan costs $213
- Cheapest catastrophic plan (under 30) is $100
The Missouri healthcare exchange is simply a store where you can purchase Obamacare plans. 85% of Americans already have insurance, and have little need for the healthcare exchange (other than to shop for a cheaper plan). 15% of Americans don’t have insurance. These are the ones who really need to use the healthcare exchange to get coverage.
It is hard to get help with Obamacare in Missouri. This is because the Missouri Legislature has passed an anti-information law. It makes it illegal for state and local officials “to provide assistance or resources of any kind” to the Obamacare exchange.
This video details the anti-information Obamacare law:
How Do I Sign Up For Obamacare In Missouri
How do I sign up for Obamacare in Missouri?
Sign up for Missouri Obamacare by going to Healthcare.gov. You can get healthcare on the Obamacare Missouri state exchange 3 ways:
- by mail
- in person
Calling 800-318-2596 (TTY:1-855-889-4325) is the phone number for individual Obamacare help. Small businesses can call 800-706-7893 (800-706-7915) for assistance. You can also find Local Obamacare help here.
Open enrollment begins October 1st of each year. Healthcare coverage begins January 1st. You must apply for healthcare via open enrollment by March 31st. You must have health coverage or pay a penalty due to the Individual Mandate. By applying for coverage, you will find out if you qualify for:
- Subsidized Private Insurance Plan
- Private Insurance Plan (likely cheaper premiums than private offerings)
Obamacare For Missouri Residents
Obamacare for Missouri residents can be bought at Healthcare.gov. You can go there to see what plans you qualify for, and how much they cost. Missouri residents with lower incomes are eligible for subsidies or Medicaid.
Do I Need To Sign Up For Obamacare?
To answer the question, “Do I need to sign up for Obamacare?” consider the following:
- If you have insurance through your employer or government, you don’t have to do anything with Obamacare. See how Obamacare affects you here.
- If you don’t have insurance–and you are low income ($15,282 for an individual)–you may qualify for the expansion of Medicaid (see below).
- If you don’t qualify for Medicaid, you will likely qualify for subsidies to buy health insurance when you sign up on the state exchange at Healthcare.gov.
Obamacare Missouri Rates
Obamacare Missouri rates vary by the same factors that exist in most states. In Missouri, the rate you pay for health insurance varies by:
- your age
- your income
- where you live in Missouri
- if you smoke
- the level of coverage you pick
Federal tax credits will help people with low to mid incomes pay for heath insurance. Obamacare Missouri tax credits are the same as in other states. The only difference is how the poverty level is defined in each state.
Missouri rates are also determined by insurance companies who divide Missouri into regions when setting the rates. Missouri rates are coming in higher than expected. Missouri doesn’t have much competition. This is due to how negatively Missouri has responded to Obamacare. The differences between high and low rates for healthcare insurance in each region include:
- regional differences in medial costs
- disease/mortality rates of the region
- relative health and age of the population
- having to pay for people with preexisting conditions
- increased competition between health insurance companies
Missouri premiums for insurance are coming in higher than expected. The best way to get lower premiums is to qualify for Medicaid. The next best way is to qualify for Federal subsides by falling into the income ranges below.
Subsidies on Missouri premiums are for individuals and families who make between:
- $11,490 to $45,960 for individuals
- $15,510 to $62,040 for a family of 2
- $19,530 to $78,120 for a family of 3
- $23,550 to $94,200 for a family of 4
- $27,570 to $110,280 for a family of 5
- $31,590 to $126,360 for a family of 6
- $35,610 to $142,440 for a family of 7
- $39,630 to $158,520 for a family of 8
Individuals and families that make less than this range may be eligible for the expansion of Medicaid (detailed below). Those that make more than this range are not eligible for Federal subsidies. But, you should still be able to find cheaper plans than in the private sector.
Those that do fall into this range will get Federal subsidies on their health insurance. Obamacare Missouri premiums also depend on the type of plan you choose. See more about Obamacare plans here. Recent data from the RAND Corporation on Missouri premiums shows that in Missouri (before Federal subsidies):
For all age groups and plans combined in Missouri:
- The Lowest Cost Weighted Average Premium (Bronze) in Missouri is $245/month (national average is $249).
- The Lowest Cost Weighted Average Premium (Silver) in Missouri is $318/month. (national average is $310).
- The 2nd Lowest Cost Weighted Average Premium (Silver) in Missouri is $334/month. (national average is $328).
For a 27 year old (cheapest age) weighted average in Missouri (monthly premiums) before federal tax credits:
- The cheapest Bronze plan costs $162
- The cheapest Silver plan costs $211
- The cheapest Gold plan costs $242
- The cheapest catastrophic plan (under 30) is $110.
For a family of 4 ($50,000 income) weighted average in Missouri (monthly premiums):
- The cheapest Bronze plan costs $72/monthly after tax credits
- The 2nd cheapest Silver plan costs $798/month before tax credits
- The 2nd cheapest Silver plan costs $282/month after tax credits
These premiums are the weighted averages for most people. Results will vary based on a few factors for your personal situation. The news about Missouri premiums is that they are in line with the national average.
In states like Missouri, premiums are going up higher to account for people with preexisting conditions. Insurance companies are making up for the fact that they could exclude people with preexisting conditions in the past. In Missouri, these protections increase the cost of premiums for everyone.
The good news about Missouri premiums is that Federal subsidies will help lower costs for many people. Individuals making less than $45,960 are eligible for subsides in Missouri. Families of four making less than $94,200 should also qualify for subsidies on premiums.
In Missouri, premiums are going down because of increased competition. The market forces have lead to cheaper insurance premiums in Missouri. They come in right at the national average, which is a change from before Obamacare when rates were much higher.
Medicaid Expansion In Missouri
Medicaid expansion in Missouri is not going to happen at this time. Under Obamacare, people making less than $15,282 (133% of Federal Poverty Line) should qualify for the Medicaid expansion. This means that 300,000 who should qualify for Medicaid in Missouri will not get it.
Currently, the Legislature is against the Medicaid expansion in Missouri. But, Governor Jay Nixon is for it. A committee to study the effects of Obamacare is currently happening. Here is Governor Jay Nixon talking about his thoughts on Obamacare and the expansion of Medicaid:
In the speech, Gov. Jay Nixon made his position clear:
The path we chose will affect the health of hundreds of thousand of Missourians, and the future of our state’s economy my consistent position on this issue is to study the options and then determine the best fit for the people of Missouri…We need to work with a broad coalition of stakeholders to chart the right course of Missouri, and not have the solution imposed on us by Washington…[t]he budget I plan to submit for fiscal year 2014 will include the Federal funding to provided healthcare for an estimated 300,000 more Missourians. It is time for us to move forward.
Gov. Jay Nixon is happy to expand Medicaid because the Federal government will pay 100% for the next 3 years. After that, Missouri will start to have to pay. That is why there is controversy about the future of Obamacare. The failure to expand Medicaid is likely to make some residents in Missouri angry. The worst part is that someone:
- Making $25,000/year will pay half as much insurance as someone making $10,000/year.
- At $25,000/year, you qualify for Federal subsidies that reduce your rates.
- At $10,000/year, you should qualify for Medicaid and have free insurance.
- The failure to expand Medicaid means people making $10,000 will have to buy insurance without any subsides.
You have to make between 133% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Line to be eligible for subsidies. Those making less are supposed to get Medicaid. Because people making less than the poverty line don’t get Medicaid in Missouri, they are effectively locked out of getting health insurance.
The irony is that the people Obamacare was supposed to help the most, are getting helped the least.
Although all of this may sound complicated, what you have to do is sign up at Healthcare.gov. The Obamacare exchange in Missouri will help you see what Obamacare can do for you.