Health Care Reform: The New “High-Risk” Insurance Pools

For people who have so-called” preexisting” medical conditions,  finding affordable health insurance can be mission impossible.  Most if not all states in the U.S. already have so-called “high risk” pools for people with a variety of medical conditions.  Unfortunately, the premium costs for these pools are far above what most people can afford.  In the near future that situation may change for the better.  Under the recently enacted health care reform legislation, on July 1, 2010, all states must offer health insurance through new high-risk pools with rates no higher than those available to a healthy person.   This provision of the new law is apparently supposed to offer help until the new health insurance exchanges begin in 2014.  It is unclear how helpful this temporary fix will be.  The rules require that a person must be without health insurance for at least 6 months and the pool of money set aside by Congress to fund the program is unlikely to to be enough for more than a year or two.  Anyway, there is a nice article in today’s New York Times (26 June 2010) summarizing these new insurance pools and how one can get up-to-date information on the high-risk pool in his or her own state.

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