Families May Need to Find New Health Care Source

1 decade 3 years 1 month ago Wednesday, October 05 2005 Oct 5, 2005 Wednesday, October 05, 2005 4:24:04 PM CDT October 05, 2005 in News

Deborah Scott's phone is ringing off the hook. She works for the Department of Social Services where worried families want to know why they're losing their health insurance.

An estimated 20,000 missouri kids under 19 may lose coverage.

"These are people who work hard, who play by the rules, and whose kids should be able to go to a doctor and have health insurance," explained Representative Jeff Harris

The kids Harris is talking about are memebers of the Children's Health Insurance Program.  In August, the state added premiums to families int eh plan.  Nearly half of the 24,000 members missed Friday's payment deadline.  Scott says the premiums aren't overwhelming.

"These are very reasonable premiums, at one percent of their gross income or 3% or 5% depending on what their income is," Scott says.

For families charged a 1% rate, they could pay up to $24 a month. Families with a 3% rate could owe $90 dollars a month. And families charged 5% could owe $181 a month.

"Families have until November 30 to pay their premium so that coverage can be reinstated."If they don't meet the deadline, their case is closed and families will need to reapply.

If families miss the deadline and reapply, they need to wait six months for coverage. So far, the state collected more than $450,000 from families who paid the premium.

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