Passed: Direct Care Bill Moves On to the Governor
On Tuesday, the Missouri Senate passed HB 769, which protects medical retainer agreements, or “direct care,” from undue regulatory interference from the state’s Department of Insurance. We’ve talked about the importance of the direct care issue before and highlighted HB 769’s progress. Its passage is a win for Missouri patients.
Removing barriers to care should be a priority over simply guaranteeing Americans “coverage,” which is the focus of Obamacare. The problem with prioritizing mere coverage over actual care is that in many cases being “covered” only provides the illusion of protection, like many Medicaid beneficiaries have found, and not much else.
If the doctor won’t see me, what good is any “coverage” I might have?
That’s where direct care agreements come in. Here, the care is contracted directly with a doctor, cutting out the middleman insurer whose networks may not actually fit my care needs. Can health insurance supplement direct care arrangements? Sure, but the arrangement itself is not insurance. And that’s what HB 769 reaffirms—that direct pay arrangements are care, not just coverage.
Kudos to the general assembly.