The federal healthcare reform law passed in March by Congress will have an 81-million dollar impact on sick Missourians, starting this month. Missourians with preexisting conditions who cannot get regular health insurance will be able to get it through a state insurance pool. The state pool is financed with 81-million dollars coming from a federal program that is part of healthcare reform.

Those who have been uninsured for at least six months will be able to apply through the insurance department for coverage from the pool. Department director John Huff says the program is the most visible healthcare reform program to hit Missouri. He says it’s a good example of how the bill is written for states to implement many aspects of federal healthcare reform.

It’s not a subsidized insurance program. It’s for people who can show they’ve been denied coverage in the regular way. Huff says costs will be about the same as regular insurance except the coverage will be for people who can’t get regular insurance.

The program will last about 42 months until the insurance exchanges are set up under healthcare reform at the start of 20-14. Customers can start applying for coverage online in a couple of weeks.

Consumers will be able to apply at mid-month at or by calling 800-821-2231.

Bob Priddy talks to John Huff 8:03 mp3