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Jul. 1 2010 - 11:39 am | 748 views | 2 recommendations | 8 comments

High-risk health insurance pools begin today

One of the first major creations of the new healthcare legislation begins today as state and federally run high-risk insurance pools begin taking applications from American citizens and legal residents unable to get coverage due to pre-existing health conditions.

Twenty-nine states have informed the federal government that they will operate their own program with the assistance of federal money. Twenty–one states have opted to allow the federal government to operate a high risk pool on their behalf. The remaining states, including California and New York, are expected to have their programs up and running by the end of the summer.

The high-risk insurance policies will be available to those who have been uninsured for six months and can show proof that they have been denied health coverage due to a pre-existing condition. For those who may desire to gain coverage from the program, note that you are not obligated to prove that you have been turned down by every insurance company on the market. You need only prove – by presenting a written letter of rejection – that one such company has denied coverage.

For those who live in a guarantee issue state where insurers are not permitted to deny coverage, providing proof that the premium charge you would be obligated to pay is well above the charge from the high-risk pool will qualify you for entry.

Applicants who get their paperwork in by July 15th will begin to receive coverage as early as August 1st.

While the launch program will come as truly welcome news to many of our uninsured, there remains great concern that the funding available to operate the program – totaling $5 billion – will not be nearly enough to provide insurance coverage to everyone in need. While the Secretary of HHS has the right to cap the program at any time, the government is currently accepting all applicants. Accordingly, those who wish to take advantage of the program would be wise to get their applications in as soon as possible.

You can get all the information required –for both state and federally operated programs – at http://www.healthcare.gov which goes on-line today.


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  1. collapse expand

    Six months without insurance in order to qualify. Let’s see how many diseases I can think of that could kill you in six months, or how much our fabulous health care system can charge up on your tab for fabulous medical care for one of these diseases in six months of treatment.
    I bet insurance companies will start finding an alternative to mailing out rejection letters. That will slow things down for a year or so.

  2. collapse expand

    “Twenty-nine states have informed the federal government that they will operate their own program with the assistance of federal money. Twenty–one states have opted to allow the federal government to operate a high risk pool on their behalf. The remaining states, including California and New York, are expected to have their programs up and running by the end of the summer.”

    Rick, 29 + 21 = 50. When did California and New York become 51 and 52?

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    About Me

    I am an attorney in Southern California, and a frequent writer, speaker and consultant on health care policy and politics. To that end, I am active member of the Association of Health Care Journalists. Based in beautiful Santa Monica, California, I'm very pleased to have the opportunity to be a contributing editor to True/Slant. I've recently finished a book designed to make the health care debate understandable to the average reader, and expect it to be out in the next five months or earlier. In my 'spare time', I continue to write for television and, occasionally, for comic books.

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