Eyes on Centene to fill void after Obamacare insurer bails on parts of Missouri

When certain insurance companies have bailed on the Obamacare exchanges in the past — potentially leaving residents of entire counties without a single option for affordable health coverage — an insurer has always stepped up to fill the void.

But it’s unclear if any insurer will extend marketplace coverage to the 25 Missouri counties that will be left with no carriers in 2018, potentially leaving 67,000 people in the western part of the state without coverage options.

A series of actions undertaken by President Donald Trump’s administration over the last five months has made insurers wary of the government-run marketplaces that have already exposed some to significant financial losses. The most concerning is whether the administration will continue to extend subsidies to help them provide coverage to consumers with low incomes who probably could not otherwise afford coverage.

The state has not said much about what it is or isn’t doing to put pressure on other health plan providers to fill voids in the affected counties in western Missouri.

If an insurer were to step up, the obvious candidate would be Clayton-based Centene. It’s a leading provider of Medicaid managed care service in Missouri — and it’s come to the rescue in other states when other insurers have backed away.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch


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