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Health officials say false information being given out about uni - KOAM TV 7

Health officials say false information being given out about universal healthcare

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Freeman health system workers say there about 16 thousand uninsured people in Jasper, Barton, Newton, and McDonald counties.  The health system hopes to enroll at least 10 percent of those people in universal healthcare.

Health officials say people with health insurance right now do not have to worry about changes to their plan, regardless of what they've been told.

"It's a big task that we have before us," says Amanda Mitchell with Freeman health system.

Mitchell says people's confusion about universal healthcare can come from false information.  

Take for example an article from a website called "The Daily Caller."  The title is "10 states where Obamacare wipes out existing health care plans."  The article says, in Missouri, patients of the state's largest hospital system (which is Barnes Jewish Christian Hospital)...will not be covered by the largest insurer on Obamacare exchanges (which is Blue Cross Blue Shield).

Not entirely true, says Mitchell.

"The coverage that they have currently just stays the same," says Mitchell.

Mitchell says instead, people that should be watchful of upcoming changes in health care should be the uninsured.

"Hospitals do have the choice on whether or not they participate in the exchange," says Mitchell.

The exchange refers to the list of federal health care plans that will be available to the uninsured through private companies.

But Blue Cross Blue Shield of Missouri and Barnes Jewish Christian Hospital in St. Louis have not reached a deal.

In a statement, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Missouri said, because we are still awaiting some final approvals, it's premature to share many specifics at this time.  Blue Cross Blue Shield officials say Barnes Jewish Christian is the only hospital in Missouri without an agreement for universal healthcare.

Mitchell says when talking about providing universal healthcare in general, "There's still a lot of questions about what is going to happen with this.  And Freeman is very optimistic about how this can move forward."

For more answers to questions on universal healthcare, visit Cover Missouri.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Missouri's full response to no agreement on universal healthcare with Barnes Jewish Christian Hospital:

"Unfortunately, we were not able to reach agreement with BJC. Because we are still awaiting some final approvals, and we are in the process of communicating with our members, it's premature to share many specifics at this time. With any product with a network of hospitals, physicians and other providers, it is important for members to understand their benefits and which providers participate in the network.  All of the choices we have made - about doctors and drugs covered, pricing and co-pays - were done to deliver affordability and quality on a sustainable basis, within the requirements of the ACA."

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