Sen. Karla Eslinger, House Majority Floor Leader Dean Plocher, and Rep. Brenda Shields have all filed legislation in their respective chambers that would prohibit insurance companies from denying benefits or coverage or charging extra to people with pre-existing conditions. The legislation would need to be approved by voters in 2022 to go into effect.
“No Missourian should be penalized for having a pre-existing condition,” Eslinger said. “We are living in uncertain economic challenges, and this measure would ensure countless working families are guaranteed coverage if they lose access to job-based insurance while our economy recovers.”
Eslinger, a new senator, filed SJR 26 which defines pre-existing conditions as present before enrollment in a health benefit plan even if medical advice, care, diagnosis, or treatment is not recommended or received beforehand.
“This is a commonsense measure that protects Missourians who deserve equitable access to health insurance, and I hope the legislature joins us in acting swiftly this session to place this important issue before voters,” Plocher said.
“Missouri communities are stronger and more prosperous when our citizens are healthy,” Shields said. “Strengthening these protections will help our most vulnerable citizens whether they are cancer survivors or suffer from asthma.”
The measures would be before voters in the November 2022 election and would take effect in 2023. An estimated 1.2 million Missourians between 18-64 years old have been diagnosed with pre-existing conditions, according to a press release.
While the country continues to suffer from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, health care and liability legislation have driven the start of this legislative session. Tuesday night, senators remained locked in a filibuster over COVID liability legislation meant to protect businesses.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is the editor of The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in early 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City.
Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S., including the 2016 presidential election, and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa and the Middle East.
She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. She is also an alumna of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C.
Contact Kaitlyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.