Friday, January 24, 2014

Mo., one of states blocking help for Obamacare signups, can't do that, federal judge rules

Rural Americans have been more likely to lack health insurance, but more than a dozen of the 22 states that have chosen not to expand Medicaid under Obamacare have made it difficult for the uninsured to buy subsidized insurance or enroll in Medicaid. "Some have required criminal background checks or added requirements for training or a state license," The Wall Street Journal reports.

On Thursday, a federal court "temporarily blocked Missouri officials from restricting organizations in the state from helping people sign up for health insurance as part of the federal health-overhaul law," Louise Radnofsky writes. The move stops the state insurance department from enforcing a law passed "last year that limited the activities of people seeking to enroll the uninsured through new insurance exchanges."

The plaintiffs in the case were the St. Louis Effort for AIDS and Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, both "approved by the federal government to assist consumers in using the exchanges to compare health plans and apply for coverage," Radnofsky reports. The state law "required anyone offering advice about insurance or providing any information related to health plans to hold a license from the state." (Read more)

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