Posts Tagged - ‘high risk health insurance pool’

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Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan Has Launched!

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Image: twbuckner under CC 3.0

Today is the official launch date of one of the most heavily hyped elements of affordable health insurance reform: the temporary pools for up to 350,000 uninsured people with pre-existing conditions. Only citizens or legal residents who have lacked insurance for over six months are eligible to sign up.

29 states will run their own health insurance pools, while 21 others have left the responsibility up to the federal government’s Department of Health and Human Services. Those living in the latter states can apply today for coverage that begins next month, while others must wait until later this summer. Many of the latter were leery of supplementing their existing high-risk pools with another one that met the new requirements (that rates charged are similar to the rest of the market, etc.) However, the rates charged in each state will vary widely, based on several factors–including age.

These pools are intended as temporary solutions for health coverage, until reforms take full effect in four years. By 2014, these stopgap solutions should no longer be necessary, since health insurers will no longer be allowed to deny coverage to high-risk patients.

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High-Risk Health Insurance Pool D-Day

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Image: katietower under CC 3.0

Today is the deadline for states to decide whether or not they will participate in one of the initial changes of healthcare reform: they need to tell the federal government if they are planning to create new health insurance pools for high-risk patients with pre-existing conditions.

So far, 18 states have flatly refused. Qualified uninsured people from those states will buy into a national pool, which will open on July 1st. Utah and Texas are still undecided, but they’re running out of time.

The states that will create new temporary pools for high-risk health insurance plans will receive part of a $5 billion grant set aside in the law for that purpose.

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Florida Will Participate in Federal High-Risk Health Insurance Plan

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Image: turtlemom4bacon under CC 3.0

Instead of using their own resources to create a new high-risk health insurance pool, Florida has elected to participate in the soon-to-be-created federal program.

Governor Charlie Crist cites the state’s budget crisis as his reasoning. He told Kathleen Sebelius that while he agrees that individual states should do their part, his state is simply unable to afford the establishment of a new Florida health insurance program at the moment. Crist is a Republican-turned-Independent candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Florida will receive approximately $351 million to subsidize its portion of the federally sponsored program intended for people with pre-existing conditions to buy health insurance plans.

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Will You Be Stuck In A State Health Insurance Pool?

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Image: Steve Rhodes under CC 3.0

The federal high-risk health insurance pool for people with pre-existing conditions will probably be cheaper than the pools that already exist in 35 states, due to the larger base of consumers.

Unfortunately, people who have already signed up for their state’s affordable health insurance option for high-risk patients won’t be eligible for the national program. In order to sign up for the federal program, you have to have been uninsured for at least six months.

Enacted as a temporary measure in the healthcare reform law, the federal pool will launch on July 1st. Some states are encouraging potential applicants for their programs to wait until then.

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Catch in Federal High Risk Health Insurance Pool

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Image: epsos under CC 3.0

One of the touted immediate benefits of the healthcare reform law is the creation of a federal high-risk health insurance pool. It is intended to combine the buying power of people with serious pre-existing conditions to make coverage more expensive. Since it encompasses the entire country, plans will probably cost less than they would in the states that already offer their own high-risk pools.

Unfortunately, you must be currently uninsured to qualify for the new federal pool. That means that those who have already signed up for a high-risk health insurance plan in their state are not eligible to join the national program–and unable to reap the significant savings.

For people in this predicament, their only option is to drop out of their state’s coverage and remain uninsured for six months. The results could be disastrous, especially for those in poor health.

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Reform Would Fund Guaranteed Issue Health Insurance Pools

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

(Image: brentbat under CC 3.0)

Many supporters of the Obama administration’s healthcare reform believe that it will significantly help uninsured individuals with pre-existing conditions. Most health insurance plans are not willing to accept them. While each state has a high-risk health insurance pool, they are often underfunded and must put a cap on the number of people they accept.

Although guaranteed issue health insurance is already available for that group, some people may be unable to afford it on their incomes. Therefore, the bill currently pending in the Senate would increase access to the states’ high-risk pools, through $5 billion in funding. Premiums are lower, since they are partially subsidized by taxpayers.

Unlike most aspects of the legislation, the boost to the state-wide pools will not take place in 2014. Instead, it is set to become effective immediately!

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