For Immediate Release:
July 18, 2013

Contact: Sheron Fulson
(573) 751-3158

Health Care Insurance Legislation Sponsored by Sen. Shalonn "Kiki" Curls Enacted into Law

JEFFERSON CITY — State Sen. Shalonn “Kiki” Curls, D-Kansas City, sponsored one of the most important health care measures of 2013, which recently received the governor’s executive approval.  Senate Bill 262 — initially filed as a measure that would prohibit larger deductibles, copayments or coinsurance amounts for services using telemedicine compared to the same health care service provided through face-to-face diagnosis, consultation or treatment — is an encompassing bill that contains several provisions relating to crucial health care insurance.

“My legislation is a great way for citizens to gain access to health care across the Show-Me State,” said Sen. Curls.  “Telemedicine uses modern-day information technology to provide certain health care services to Missourians, especially those citizens who are not able to easily leave their homes or do not live within close proximity to medical facilities.  Senate Bill 262 reduces the need for travel from rural areas of our state and saves taxpayers’ dollars Missourians would otherwise have to pay for medical travels, such as when citizens on Medicare are moved from nursing homes to medical treatment centers.”

Additional provisions found in Senate Bill 262 require individuals to establish a physician-patient relationship before they can receive a prescription for medication or treatment through the Internet; allow health maintenance organizations to charge deductibles and coinsurance for basic health care services; and give those who use prescription eye drops the ability to renew their prescription before they run out of medication.

Another portion of the bill, which was amended by the House Health Insurance Committee and resulted in a House committee substitute, addresses the licensure of health insurance navigators.  The provision prohibits individuals or entities from performing, offering to perform, or advertising any services as a navigator in Missouri or receive navigator funding from Missouri or a health insurance exchange unless licensed as a navigator by the Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration.  These licensed navigators may provide fair and impartial information and services in connection with eligibility, enrollment and program specifications of any health benefit exchange operating in Missouri.  The bill also allows navigators to facilitate the selection of a qualified health plan and initiate the enrollment process, as well as provide referrals to any applicable office or agency for enrollees regarding questions or concerns pertaining to their health plan or coverage.

Sen. Curls continued, “This is incredibly important as we look for ways to provide improved access to health care around the state in both rural and urban communities.  Purchasing health care insurance may seem like an overwhelming experience for some.  Licensed navigators can provide Missourians with important contacts that will have beneficial answers to citizens’ complex questions.”

The telemedicine portion of Senate Bill 262 will take effect Jan. 1, 2014.  Other provisions found in the bill contained an emergency clause, meaning they immediately took effect when the governor signed the bill.  To read more about this measure or other bills sponsored by Sen. Curls, visit