Other individual plans

Persons whose coverage is involuntarily terminated may apply for coverage with other insurers that sell individual policies, but such insurers have the right to reject applicants because of previous health history. Generally speaking, few restrictions exist on how much an insurer may charge in premiums for individual coverage.

Neither Missouri nor federal law guarantees individual policyholders the right to purchase individual commercial health insurance coverage elsewhere when their insurer leaves the market.

Missouri Health Insurance Pool

Consumers whose medical conditions make it difficult to buy health insurance, or cause their rates to be much higher, may be eligible for coverage through the Missouri Health Insurance Pool. Information is available at mhip.org or 800-821-2231.

A federally guaranteed alternative

Federal law also requires that employer-sponsored group health plans--both commercial and self-insured--hold special enrollments for employees and eligible dependents who originally turned down employer coverage because they had health insurance at the time of the offer and who subsequently lost the original coverage. Prior coverage is counted against any pre-existing condition exclusion period. Persons must apply within 30 days after losing other coverage.