Bill Enabling Missouri Farm Bureau’s Health Plans Clears House
Missouri State Capitol (Photo by Bob Ehle, Alpha Media Moberly)

Lawmakers in the Missouri House gave their approval Wednesday to a bill that would allow Missouri Farm Bureau to offer their own health coverage plans.  House Bill 2082 was sent to the Senate with a 104-21 vote.  President Garrett Hawkins calls it a big step toward making Missouri the ninth state to allow its farm bureau to offer coverage.

The bill stipulates that the plans are not health insurance and would not be covered by the Missouri Insurance Guaranty Association.  Hawkins says Farm Bureau’s plans have a proven track record in the states where they’re allowed to be offered.

In recent years neighboring states Kansas and Arkansas have allowed their farm bureaus to offer plans.  Hawkins says the goal is to provide their members an option where traditional health insurance isn’t offered or affordable.

Groups including the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society testified against the bill in committee.  In written comments the groups suggested that because the plans are not subject to the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, farmers with pre-existing conditions could be charged more and not benefit from annual or lifetime out-of-pocket limits.

House Bill 2082 received a first reading in the Senate on Thursday.  Sen. Sandy Crawford (R-Buffalo) is handling the measure.