April 26, 2011

American Cancer Society official named to Missouri high-risk pool board

Misty Snodgrass, advocate for cancer survivors, to serve

Jefferson City, Mo. - Missouri Insurance Director John M. Huff has appointed Misty Snodgrass of the American Cancer Society to the Board of Directors of the Missouri Health Insurance Pool.

Snodgrass, a Jefferson City resident, has served as legislative and government relations director for the organization since 2009 and advocates on behalf of cancer patients and survivors in Missouri. She handles legislative issues, including appropriations, private insurance, Medicaid, health disparities and tobacco control.

"At the American Cancer Society we see firsthand how difficult it can be for cancer patients and survivors to get health insurance," said Snodgrass. "Our state is fortunate to have two high-risk pools that guarantee coverage for Missourians, whether they have cancer or any other pre-existing condition."

"Cancer is blind to gender, race, wealth, age and any other factor you can name," said Huff. "Ms. Snodgrass will be an invaluable asset to help guide the future of the Missouri Health Insurance Pool as it seeks to provide needed health coverage to consumers representing all walks of life in the Show-Me State."

Formed by the state legislature in 1991, the Missouri Health Insurance Pool operates two high-risk pools, one mandated by state law, the other by federal law. The state pool is funded by assessments paid by health insurers and premiums paid by policyholders. The federal pool is funded by premiums and an $81 million federal grant. Neither pool uses state taxpayer money.

Under Missouri law, the director of the Department of Insurance serves on the pool's board and appoints the members. The law requires the board to have nine members, serving three-year terms, with experience in the health insurance industry or representing the general public.

Also serving on the board of directors:

Jeff Bond, board president - Springfield, Cox HealthPlans

Bryan Miller, treasurer - Kansas City, BlueCross BlueShield of Kansas City

Dr. Karen Amstutz - Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Mary Becker - Jefferson City, Missouri Hospital Association

Julie Davidson - St. Louis, UnitedHealthcare of the Midwest

Cheryl Dillard - Kansas City, Coventry Health Care

John M. Huff - Columbia, director of the Missouri Department of Insurance

Paula Nickelson - Fulton, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

Consumers can get information about the Missouri Health Insurance Pool at mhip.org or by calling 800-821-2231.