- The Washington Times - Friday, June 30, 2017

Centene Corp, a health insurer, said Friday it will offer Obamacare plans in Missouri next year, filling the gap in about two dozen “bare counties” after other insurers withdrew.

All told, the insurer will cover 40 counties in the Show Me State.

Centene is proud to be headquartered in the state of Missouri. Our local Missouri health plan, Home State Health, has been proudly serving Medicaid members since 2012,” Centene President and CEO Michael F. Neidorff said. “We strive to be a responsible partner with the state and are committed to working closely with regulators and policymakers to collaborate on actions that stabilize the market and offer affordable coverage options.”

Earlier this year, Centene decided to expand into Kansas, Missouri and Nevada for 2018 and reach further into six other states.

Yet counties in Nevada, Indiana and Ohio — 36 in all — are still slated to have no options on their Obamacare exchanges next year, according to a Twitter post by Cynthia Cox, an associate director at the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation who closely tracks the issue.

Insurers exiting the marketplace have complained about a one-two punch from the 2010 health law itself, which fell short of enrollment targets, leading to a sick and costly customer base, and uncertainty from President Trump, who’s wavered on how firmly he will enforce Obamacare while its on the books.

He’s threatened to withhold “cost-sharing” reimbursements from insurers, hoping it will force Democrats to the negotiating table during the GOP’s push to repeal Obamacare, and wavered on how firmly he’ll enforce the “individual mandate” requiring people to hold coverage or pay a tax.

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