KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Judge Bars Missouri’s Limits On Health Law Navigators

A federal district judge ruled Thursday that Missouri officials were illegally obstructing the activities of insurance guides funded by the federal government to help consumers enroll in coverage under the health law. More than a dozen Republican-led states have imposed additional requirements on the guides, also known as navigators.

The New York Times: Missouri Obstructing Health Law, Judge Rules
A federal district judge declared Thursday that the State of Missouri was illegally obstructing the activities of insurance counselors appointed by the federal government to inform consumers of their options under the Affordable Care Act (Pear, 1/23).

The Wall Street Journal: Court Says Missouri Can't Block Health-Law Helpers
A federal court has temporarily blocked Missouri officials from restricting organizations in the state from helping people sign up for health insurance as part of the federal health-overhaul law. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri granted an injunction Thursday blocking the Missouri insurance department from enforcing a state law passed last year that limited the activities of people seeking to enroll the uninsured through new insurance exchanges (Radnofsky, 1/23).

Los Angeles Times: Obamacare Notches Legal Victory In Missouri
Supporters of President Obama’s health law scored a legal victory in Missouri on Thursday as a federal judge blocked the state from enforcing new rules limiting the ability of community organizations to help consumers sign up for coverage under the law. Missouri is among many Republican-leaning states that have put restrictions on these groups, including a requirement that they get licenses before they can help with the enrollment process. Proponents of the restrictions maintain that they protect consumers (Levey, 1/23).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Judge Stops Mo. Law On Health Navigator Licensing
A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction Thursday against Missouri’s law requiring a state license to serve as a navigator to help consumers sign up for coverage through the new health insurance marketplace. U.S. District Judge Ortrie D. Smith’s ruling also denied the state’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit. It wasn’t clear if the state would appeal. Missouri attorney general’s office spokeswoman Nanci Gonder said in a written statement that the office was reviewing the ruling (1/23).

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