Centene Joins Missouri Health Care Marketplace

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- More changes are coming to the health care marketplace in Missouri while Congress tries to figure out what to do with the Affordable Care Act.

Insurer Centene has announced it will offer health insurance through the Marketplace in Missouri in 2018, but it's still not clear what counties it will be available in.

"It is encouraging to know that there will be more options available," for Ashley Quinn, outreach coordinator at Empower Missouri, the more options the better.

"You can find one that works for your family and I think that was the general idea behind the Affordable Care Act and the Marketplace in the first place," she said.

Trevor Croley at Croley Insurance agrees that competition is good for the consumer.

"When you have only one, if they're dictating what the rates are, and what they can and can't do, and who you're going to," he said.

When Humana and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City announced they'd be leaving, it left a huge void in coverage options.

25 counties in Missouri have no carrier for 2018. Most counties have only one. And only a few have two options through the marketplace.

But even after Centene's announcement, there's still many questions like what counties its coverage will be available in and what kind of coverage will be provided. 

"And the other part of it is the willingness of providers and hospital systems to work with the carrier," said Croley.

And questions still remain about the Affordable Care Act itself on a national level.

"We sure would appreciate it if our elected officials would focus more on making sure that all Missourians have healthcare," said Quinn.

Centene's CEO says the company recognizes there's uncertainty of new legislation, but that it is well positioned to continue providing health care.

Croley anticipates more changes are possible.

"Probably by the end of the year we will see either more consolidation or maybe even more companies coming into the marketplace," he said.

And he saws whatever carriers end up being available in your county next year, make sure if you have options, to do your homework on how they've worked out in other states. And select the coverage that is right for you and not simply based on cost.
 


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