JEFFERSON CITY, Mo – Senators heard testimony on Wednesday on a bill that would allow short-term major medical policies to be exempt from certain coverage mandates, including HIV, diabetes, clinical trials and mental health treatment.
Advocates of the bill say that the exemptions will allow an increase of coverage from six months to a year.
Rep. Justin Hill, R–District 108, sponsored the bill and said with the current six-month limit people who find themselves in need of these short-term policies are having to pay double the deductible to get a year of coverage or face the risk of only being covered for six months.
“If they buy one policy and then develop a pre-existing condition, they go six months without coverage. That was the importance of this bill because I was running into constituents who didn’t have an option.” Hill said. “They lost coverage because they developed a condition and they had to wait until an open enrollment period to get coverage.”
Insurance companies and lobbyists spoke on behalf of the bill. Groups like the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association had representatives speak against the bill citing the devastation that the exemptions will cause the people who need the care.
Information from the Missouri School of Journalism contributed to this report.