An announcement by Centene Corp. means that every county in Missouri will have at least one insurer next year on the exchange established by the Affordable Care Act.
The Clayton-based company said in a news release Friday that it will make plans for individuals available in 40 Missouri counties over the exchange.
Without Centene, 25 counties in the state faced the possibility that no insurer would have offered health coverage policies for people who were either ineligible for Medicaid or Medicare or who could not buy coverage through an employer. The vast majority of people buying insurance on the exchanges are eligible for federal subsidies based on their incomes.
Centene, which covers 1.2 million customers through the exchanges, will market its Missouri insurance policies under the Ambetter name. Among the counties where it will sell on the exchanges are Jackson, Clay, Platte, Cass and Johnson. It will also cover dozens of rural areas where insurance companies are less eager to operate.
The announcement came more than two weeks after the company pledged to expand in the state while other players pulled out of the markets or proposed premiums so high they might not have been eligible to sell policies in Missouri.