Summary of the Introduced Bill

HB 1495 -- Missouri Universal Health Assurance Program

Sponsor:  Bland

This bill creates the Missouri Universal Health Assurance
Program.  The program is a publicly financed, statewide insurance
program that will provide comprehensive and necessary health care
services for Missouri residents.

The Director of the Department of Health and Senior Services is
required to divide the population of the state into six regional
health planning and policy development districts.  An advisory
council of 13 members will be established for each district.  The
advisory councils will assist the Board of Governors of the
program in creating an annual comprehensive state health care
plan as well as developing a transportation plan for indigent,
elderly, and disabled clients.

The program will be administered by a 23-member Board of
Governors, of whom 14 members will be appointed by the Governor,
with the advice and consent of the Senate.  The directors of the
departments of Social Services, Health and Senior Services, and
Mental Health will be ex-officio members; and the board will
include representation of minority and disabled individuals.  The
board will be responsible for monitoring expenditures, adopting
rules, employing staff, and studying methods for incorporating
institutional and long-term care benefits into the program.  The
board is also required to submit an annual report to the Speaker
of the House of Representatives, the President Pro Tem of the
Senate, and the Governor which recommends changes in health
insurance and health care laws.

The bill requires that prior to the implementation of the
comprehensive plan, the board is required to appoint advisory
subcommittees of health care researchers and ethics experts and
to conduct public hearings.  The comprehensive plan is required
to seek and secure the delivery of the most cost-effective health
care services.

The bill also establishes the Missouri Health Care Trust Fund
which will be used to finance the program.  Revenues held in the
fund are not subject to appropriation or allotment by the state
or any political subdivision of the state.  Various accounts are
created within the fund for specific purposes.

Every person who is a resident of Missouri, regardless of
pre-existing conditions, will be eligible to receive benefits for
covered services.  Persons who are not residents, but who are
employed in Missouri will be eligible for benefits if a health
premium surcharge is paid.  The board is required to request that
the program be made available to federal employees and retirees
while they are residents of Missouri.  Certain health care
services are excluded from coverage.

The bill requires the program to pay the expenses of
institutional providers of health care, and each provider is
required to negotiate an annual budget with the program which
will cover anticipated expenses.  The program will reimburse
independent providers of health care on a fee-for-service basis.
Other insurers and employers may offer benefits that do not
duplicate those offered by the program.

To finance the program, the bill requires every Missouri resident
to pay a health premium surcharge which will be collected by the
Department of Revenue and deposited into the Missouri Health Care
Trust Fund.  The surcharge, in addition to the state income tax,
will be imposed on a resident's adjusted gross income.

No later than 30 days after the effective date of the bill, the
Department of Social Services is required to apply to the United
States Secretary of Health and Human Services for all health care
program waivers that would enable the state to deposit federal
funds into the Missouri Health Care Trust Fund.  The department
is also required to identify other federal funding sources.

Specific sections of the bill will become effective April 1 of
the year following the award of a waiver by the United States
Department of Health and Human Services.  Notice of the receipt
of the waiver must be given to the Revisor of Statutes.  The bill
will be submitted to the voters for approval or rejection on the
first Tuesday in November 2004.

Copyright (c) Missouri House of Representatives

Missouri House of Representatives
92nd General Assembly, 2nd Regular Session
Last Updated September 23, 2004 at 11:15 am