Covering high-risk insurance pools: Mike Shields
The federal government and states are scrambling now to create temporary high-risk pools for the medically uninsurable by July 1. As one of the first provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to go into effect, it will serve as a test case for implementation of the new law and it should be closely followed.
Some states with existing high risk pools are passing laws to ensure their programs comply with the new federal rules and are eligible for some of the $5 billion in federal funding. Other states are refusing to alter their programs and ceding responsibility to the federal government. But apart from being a policy story, it’s of great interest to all your readers, viewers or listeners who have pre-existing conditions and are struggling to find coverage.
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By Mike Shields
Kansas Health Institute News Service
If you're in a state with an existing high-risk pool, like Kansas, the new federal pool will be more generous and affordable, though probably still too costly to help a lot of people.
Persons anywhere already enrolled in a more expensive state pool essentially will be stuck there because the new risk pools will only be available to people who have gone six months without coverage.
Kansas officials say they most likely will operate two, parallel pools: The federal pool and the existing state pool.
Seems like a lot of extra red tape for a program that is meant to be stop-gap until 2014. But so far there doesn't seem to be a solution for that apart from some relatively quick syncing with federal law by state legislatures, which is unlikely in Kansas and maybe elsewhere.