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Sunday, February 20, 2011

High Risk Health Insurance Pools Changes

What Are High Risk Health Plans?

If you get your health insurance through work, you probably can get accepted even if you have a pre-existing health issue. However, millions of Americans do not have a job which provides medical benefits. These people may have to buy their own individual or family medical plan.

Individual or private plans do not have to accept every applicant. People who are already sick may get declined by the insurance company underwriters. That is why it is always better to buy medical insurance when you are healthy. It is the same as the reason why you buy car insurance before you have a car wreck. Under the current system, insurers would go broke if they covered people who already had serious diseases. They also need healthy people paying premiums in order to share the risk.

State High Risk Pools

So each state has some sort of subsidized high risk pool for people with pre-existing conditions. That plans are different in each state. They do help lots of Americans, with health issues, get major medical insurance. They do not help everybody who has a problem.

In some state, the premiums are quite expensive. Just because these are state supported programs, does not mean they are a cheap way to get health insurance. Many people cannot afford the premium.
In some states, there may be a waiting period before pre-existing conditions are covered. If a person has an acute problem, it may not help them if they have to wait twelve months before coverage starts.
Not everybody qualifies.

The Federal High Risk Pool

As part of health reform, the federal government has also established a new national high risk health insurance plan. This plan may also be different for residents of different states. However, the main function of this new federal program is to provide more coverage and more affordable premiums to people who may not be well served by their state program.

How To Learn About High Risk Health Insurance

In my opinion, the easiest way to get more information is to search for your state's high risk pool website. You will be able to find out if you can qualify for a plan, how much it will cost, and what it will cover. Each state website should have a link to information about the federal plan too. You can decide which option will be better for you, or if either option will help you get medical coverage.

High Risk Health Pool Alternatives

If you need health insurance you may also have some other alternatives besides the state or national risk pools. If you have a very low income, you may qualify for Medicaid. If you have a fairly low income, you may be able to get kids covered by CHIPS (Children's Health Insurance Plan). Your county hospital system may have services on s sliding scale basis. There are also low cost clinics in many communities.

Finding Health Services

Over half of Americans have group coverage from work. But that leaves millions of people who have to find another solution. The important thing is to look for those solutions before a health condition becomes a crisis.

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