Posted on : June 25, 2010 | By : Mona Lisa Vito | In : Reform
Today is the deadline for states to submit details to the Department of Health and Human Services on how they intend to operate the high-risk health insurance pools mandated by healthcare reform. The high-risk pool program is intended to provide coverage to those who have been denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition and who have been without coverage for more than six months. These pools are meant to bridge the gap for such individuals until subsidies and new health insurance exchanges are instituted in 2014. Other crucial reforms included in the package which brought on these pools are provisions that allow individuals to stay on their families’ insurance plans up to age twenty-six, prevent insurers from excluding children because of preexisting conditions, and eliminate lifetime limits on health costs imposed on policyholders. Twenty-nine state and the District of Columbia have elected to run their own pools and will be entitled to a portion of the $5 billion allocated by the federal government to fund them. Nineteen states said they would leave operation of pools in their states to the federal government. Some think tank analysts and state officials worry that federal funding may run out, leaving states liable to cover these high-risk patients out of their own budgets. Federal officials at the Department of Health and Human Services have assured these doubters that the funds will last for until 2014 in states where it will administer the pools. They further say the federal government will cover the costs of developing or modifying accounting or enrollment systems and any other start-up costs states may incur. The contracts due to Health and Human Services today must include strategies for operation of the pools, estimations of total cost, and other provisions. Enrollment in the pools begins July 1 and coverage for policyholders will begin August 1. For more information on the high-risk pools in your state, contact your state’s Department of Insurance.
Posted on : May 28, 2009 | By : Sophie Callahan | In : Health Insurance
Health insurance is becoming more and more expensive as well as scarce. People are losing their jobs as well as their health insurance and small businesses have been deciding to cut health care coverage totally. But with medical costs rising, health insurance is a necessity. Many people are beginning to look for jobs, are changing jobs, or waiting for their new jobs’ health insurance to check in. The best solution is short term health insurance which is better than no health insurance at all.
Short term health insurance is exactly what it says, short term. Policies can be purchased month to month for periods of 12 to 36 months. Though short term plans aren’t as comprehensive as individual health insurance plans and employer-sponsored health plans, they provide you with preventative measures at a cheap price.
Many short term health insurance plans are less than $100 a month and include coverage for services such as hospitalization, diagnosis, or emergency care. Short term health insurance plans don’t cover preventative care such as annual physicals, doctors’ visits, or prescriptions. Short term plans are used for the meantime while individuals are searching for more permanent plans.
Unfortunately individuals with preexisting conditions cannot get a short term health insurance policy because these policies are underwritten. Short term health insurance plans are generally for healthy individuals.
Posted on : March 18, 2009 | By : Sophie Callahan | In : Health Insurance, Politics
Senate and House bills were introduced yesterday that would ban insurance companies from keeping those with preexisting conditions from getting insurance. The bills will not allow insurance carriers to exclude patients based on preexisting conditions. It would also not allow disease-specific premiums or surcharges. The legislation is known as The Pre-existing Condition Patient Protection Act.
The bills are sponsored by Senator Jay Rockefeller of W. Virginia and Representative Joe Courtney of Connecticut. Congressional Democrats and President Barack Obama want to guarantee access to insurance for United States citizens including patients with preexisting conditions. Insurance companies exclude patients with chronic health conditions or other serious illness as well as even pregnancy in order to avoid paying for expensive medical care.
“This is a situation where the market is not going to solve the problem by itself,” Rockefeller said. “The insurance companies have always gotten away with what they can get away with.”
There are 25 million people who are underinsured and being denied health care by health insurance companies for having preexisting conditions. Over 133 million Americans have a bare minimum health plan along with a chronic condition.
The Pre-existing Condition Patient Protection Act can help insure those with preexisting conditions and chronic illnesses. This legislation is part of the plan to insure all Americans.