Health Insurance

Health Reform’s Creation of a High Risk Insurance Pool

One of the first steps after the passage of health reform is the creation of a high risk pool for uninsured individuals.  This is help individuals such as 56 year old Laura Carpenter of Tuolumne, CA.  Individuals such as With the $5 billion allocated for this task, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent the following letter to U.S. governors:

“The establishment of a temporary new high risk pool program is one of our first tasks in implementing the new health reform law and will help provide affordable insurance for Americans who have been locked out of the insurance market for too long,” said Sebelius. “This letter marks the first step in that process and demonstrates one of our core principles of implementation — building on effective programs that already exist. In the coming days, we will work closely with states to answer their questions.”

States have 5 options of how they could participate:

  • Operate a new high risk pool alongside a current state high risk pool;
  • Establish a new high risk pool ;
  • Build upon other existing coverage programs designed to cover high risk individuals;
  • Contract with a current HIPAA carrier of last resort; or
  • Do nothing, in which case the federal government through HHS would carry out a coverage program in the state.

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