Campaign to Teach Missourians About Health Care Changes

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COLUMBIA - Cover Missouri, a project of The Missouri Foundation for Health, launched a statewide campaign Tuesday to educate Missourians about new health insurance options available to them through the Missouri Health Insurance Marketplace.

MFH assembled the Cover Missouri Coalition and hosted a day of speakers, sessions, and education Tuesday about the changes in Missouri Health Care that start October 1. Ryan Barker is the Vice President of Health Policy for MFH. He said the purpose of the summit was to educate those who will be directly involved in communicating the new health care options in Missouri.

"Today was to help equip the people who are going to be working with consumers who are uninsured or are looking for a new health insurance options with resources, materials, and tools of how to be out there in the field talking to people and helping people figure out these new options," said Barker.

The Coalition brings together more than 140 members representing 90 organizations ranging from health care providers, community-based organizations, businesses, and national organizations. Barker said the focus on the Health Insurance Marketplace is the first step to an even bigger goal.

"We have a goal for the Cover Missouri Coalition of reducing Missouri's uninsured rate to less than five percent in the next five years. It's currently at about 17 percent for Missourians under the age of 65, so it's a pretty big goal," said Barker.

The focus of the sessions Tuesday was to educate and prepare Missouri's nonprofit, civic, academic and health care organizations with the information, skills, and strategies needed be prepared to enroll the state's uninsured population in the Marketplace. Brian Williams is a member of a community partnership that will help spread the word about the Missouri Health Insurance Marketplace.

"We were just selected by the Missouri Foundation for Health to be a regional hub, so we'll have 17 counties we'll be covering to get the information out to the consumers. Our impetus in attending the session was to learn so we can better serve the clients in our communities," said Williams.  

The four hands-on sessions covered topics such as using simple language to explain Missouri's Health Insurance Marketplace and understanding Missouri's uninsured population. 

"MFH did a fantastic job. I think everyone should have walked away today knowing more than what they did before about the new health care options. I'm delighted to be here and to have the opportunity to go out in our communities and make a difference," said Williams.

Cover Missouri launched a new website to kick off the campaign and to offer a resource to the state. Consumers seeking information about the new Missouri Health Insurance Marketplace can click here