High court's health care decision could bring money to Missouri, Illinois residents

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by Matt Sczesny / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on June 28, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 28 at 6:40 PM

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- The Supreme Court’s decision on Thursday to uphold a requirement that every American have health insurance could put more money in your pocket.

Health insurance companies have been waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision to see if they have to pay many of their customers.

“There are millions of dollars worth of checks that have been cut but we were waiting for the Supreme Court case to come down,” said Thomas McAuliffe with the Missouri Foundation for Health.

McAuliffe said the checks can be looked at as a refund of sort.

The Missouri Foundation for Health, a non-partisan group that hasn’t taken a stand on the Health Care Act, says tens of millions of dollars worth of refunds will soon be going out in the mail.

Under the act, now upheld by the Supreme Court, health insurance companies are required to spend a certain percentage of premiums on actual health care.

Anything short of that means money back for consumers.

“When an insurance company does not spend all the money that it’s supposd to on care, the law says the deficit should come back in the form of a rebate check and those will come to companies and individuals who purchase insurance at that company,” said McAuliffe.

McAuliffe says those companies were waiting were waiting for this decison to send out the checks.

Estimates are over 160,000 people in Illinois could get a check averaging $300 per person. In Missouri, over 600,000 could get checks around $150.

Experts say some premiums will most likely come down slightly so insurance companies avoid sending out checks again next year.

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