Missouri health insurance : Governor Jay Nixon delivered a State of the State address last week that focused on addressing economic challenges by creating jobs and balancing the budget without raising taxes. He highlighted success in the past year in retaining and creating jobs, and in balancing the budget without raising taxes. The governor’s top priority for 2010 is his jobs plan to help Missouri businesses recruit new high-tech companies to the state and train residents for jobs in growing fields.
The Governor’s only reference to Missouri health insurance issues was to call on the legislature to adopt an autism coverage mandate. Recently filed bills at the legislature include several items designed to expand access through the SCHIP program, allowing adopted children as dependents the same as biological children, and creating the Missouri universal health assurance program to provide a government-sponsored, single-payer health care system for all residents, funded by a new income tax on residents based on income. Other bills would prohibit a Missouri health insurance policy or plan from providing coverage for elective abortions except by an optional rider, for which an additional premium must be paid, and a bill requiring pharmacy benefits managers (PBM) to remit to a covered entity all claims, prescription, cost, charges, and payment information for a pharmacist’s services