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Parson establishes task force in effort to make health insurance market more ‘competitive’

   

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Citing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and rising healthcare premiums, Gov. Mike Parson established a task force to improve access to affordable insurance options through an executive order. 

The Missouri Health Insurance Innovation Task Force will come up with ideas for improvement for healthcare services and access to more affordable insurance options, the Governor’s Office announced Wednesday. 

Parson has also emphasized it should find additional ways to increase healthcare options in rural communities throughout Missouri. The Governor’s Office noted 101 counties only have one insurance carrier offering a healthcare plan in the individual market in the state. 

“Missouri knows best when it comes to taking care of our citizens, not Washington, D.C.,” Parson, a Republican, said in a statement. “Our health insurance market is not competitive, and there is no ‘one size fits all’ federal solution that addresses every issue of healthcare access and the rising cost of insurance premiums for Missourians.” 

“Our health insurance market is not competitive, and there is no ‘one size fits all’ federal solution that addresses every issue of healthcare access and the rising cost of insurance premiums for Missourians.” 

Republican-led efforts to repeal and replace the ACA — commonly referred to as ObamaCare — at the federal level have largely been unsuccessful. However, the Trump administration has attempted to rollback piecemeal some of its provisions, including through an executive order in 2017 which paved the way for “alternatives” to health insurance by instructing the U.S. Department of Labor to expand access to “association health plans.” The president’s executive order was designed to allow some consumers to be able to purchase insurance across state lines. 

The task force created by Parson’s order consist of the Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP) director or designee; two state representatives appointed by the House Speaker; two senators appointed by the President Pro Tempore; a licenced health insurance producer; a consumer representative from the Missouri Foundation for Health and the Health Forward Foundation; a representative from Missouri’s hospitals; four licenced insurance company representatives; and anyone else selected by the governor. 

“The health and financial well-being of all Missourians is critically important to our state’s economy,” Parson said. “Healthy citizens contribute to increased workplace productivity, which is essential to Missouri remaining competitive in national and global markets.” 

The task force must submit a report of recommendations to the Governor’s Office by January 31, 2020. The report, which will also include summaries of public hearings and comments from stakeholders, will be made publicly available.