Mon12222014

Last updateMon, 22 Dec 2014 10am

State and Regional News

Throughout 30 years of giving, Missouri State Employee Charitable Campaign has raised more than $27 million for charities across the state

• 2015 campaign exceeds $1 million for the 11th consecutive year
JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Office of Administration today announced that the 2015 Missouri State Employee Charitable Campaign (MSECC) exceeded donations of $1 million for the 11th consecutive year. The 30th year of the campaign had a larger increase in total donations than any year since the 2010 campaign, and state employees donated more than $1,071,000.00 to 926 Missouri charities. This brings the 30-year total for the campaign to over $27 million.

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Protesters at Journey for Justice Rally call for more accountability

JEFFERSON CITY - More than 200 people gathered in the rotunda of Missouri's capitol building on the afternoon of Friday, Dec. 5, to protest the death of Michael Brown Aug. 9.

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Patrol urges safe holiday travel

Many Missourians will be making special plans for the Christmas holidays. Is safe, crash free travel part of your plans? If not, it should be! Check your vehicle before you travel to ensure that it is in good working condition. Make sure you are well rested before driving to your destination, no matter how short the distance. And, please, please obey all traffic laws and be a courteous driver. The Missouri State Highway Patrol wishes everyone a merry and safe Christmas. One way for it to be merry is for everyone to arrive at their destination safely.

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New members of the General Assembly attend orientation

JEFFERSON CITY - Newly elected legislators to the House of Representatives met at the Capitol building to learn more about their duties as a public official.

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Report shows more options and savings for Missouri consumers who shop in the Health Insurance Marketplace in 2015

• Nearly 8 in 10 current Marketplace customers can get coverage for $100 or less per month after any applicable tax credits in 2015
New choices and more competition in the Health Insurance Marketplace are giving Missouri consumers affordable options during Open Enrollment this year, and the majority of returning consumers who shop can save money on premiums, according to a report released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
With 25 percent more issuers participating in the Marketplace in 2015, based on analysis of 35 states, more than 90 percent of consumers nationwide will be able to choose from three or more issuers—up from 74 percent in 2014. In Missouri, consumers can choose from 7 issuers in the Marketplace in 2015 – up from 4 in 2014.  And Missouri consumers can choose from an average of 20 health plans in their county for 2015 coverage—up from 17 in 2014. 
Nearly 8 in 10 current Marketplace consumers can find coverage in the 2015 Marketplace for $100 or less, taking into account any applicable tax credits.  In 2014, 85 percent of Missouri consumers who selected a Marketplace plan received financial assistance. For returning customers, it pays to shop.  More than 7 in 10 current Marketplace enrollees can find a lower premium plan in the same metal level—before tax credits—by returning to shop.  If all returning consumers switched from their current plan to the lowest-cost premium plan in the same metal level, the total savings in premiums would be over $2 billion.
 “The Health Insurance Marketplace is open for business, and Missouri consumers have affordable choices for renewing their coverage and signing up for the first time,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “In today’s Marketplace, issuers are competing for business. With additional quality, affordable plans available, returning Missouri customers may find an even better deal if they shop and save.”
Today’s report finds that premiums for the second-lowest cost, or “benchmark,” silver plan held stable in Missouri for 2015 coverage, with a 1 percent decrease on average before tax credits.  Nationally, premiums for the second-lowest cost, or “benchmark,” silver plan also held stable for 2015 coverage, with only a modest 2 percent increase on average before tax credits in 35 states. Many consumers will be eligible for tax credits to help with the cost of monthly premiums.
Before the Affordable Care Act, people who purchased health insurance plans in the individual market often saw double-digit rate increases on average, with very limited options for shopping around because plans could deny them coverage, or charge them higher rates based on pre-existing conditions or their gender. This year, consumers have the option to renew their current plan or shop around to select the plan that best meets their needs and their budget. And with the new window shopping tool at HealthCare.gov, it's easier than ever.
Open Enrollment in the Marketplace runs from Nov. 15, 2014, through Feb. 15, 2015.  Consumers should visit HealthCare.gov to review and compare health plan options. All consumers shopping for health insurance coverage for 2015—even those who currently have coverage through the Marketplace—should enroll or re-enroll between Nov. 15 and Dec. 15 in order to have coverage effective on Jan. 1, 2015.
Today’s report reflects individual market health plan premium data for 35 states. It does not include Oregon or Nevada, which are using the federal eligibility and enrollment platform this year, and other State-based Marketplaces.  Findings are presented at the county level, rather than by rating area, to better reflect plan service areas and the consumer experience.
For additional information on Health Plan Choice, Premiums and Affordability in the 2015 Health Insurance Marketplace, including data for states and select counties visit: http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2015/premiumReport/healthPremium2015.pdf
To preview plans, prices, covered benefits and physician and hospital networks in your area visit: https://www.healthcare.gov/find-premium-estimates/
Consumers can find local help at: Localhelp.healthcare.gov/. Or call the Federally-facilitated Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596. TTY users should call 1-855- 889-4325. Translation services are available. The call is free.