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.