Mo. lowers rates on high-risk health insurance pool - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Mo. lowers rates on high-risk health insurance pool

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By Heartland News & AP

ST. LOUIS, MO (KFVS/AP) - Missouri is lowering the rates on the state's new high-risk health insurance pool because fewer people are taking advantage of the program.

The insurance pool was created for people with pre-existing conditions who can't afford or obtain their own coverage. The pool was funded through premiums and federal grants of $81 million for Missouri.

The program was funded for 1,000 applicants in its first year, but only 250 people had signed up since July.

Because of the low turnout, the state is reducing the rates by 25 percent, effective February 1. The new rates will be from $178 to $780 a month, depending on the age and deductible.

The program is intended to help high-risk people until 2014, when insurance companies will no longer be allowed to deny or overcharge people for coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

About 734,00 people in Missouri are uninsured, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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