[…] The subsidy program was extended to help people who were involuntarily terminated on or before May 31, 2010, and allowed them to receive up to 15 months of COBRA premium assistance. For most people who qualified for the subsidies, the 15 months has already ended. But for the last people who qualified – those who were laid off in the final days of May, 2010 – the 15 months of premium assistance will come to an end next week. […]
[…] People with pre-existing medical conditions can get guaranteed issue coverage through Cover Colorado, but are definitely not “guaranteed access to the individual market”. When a person with pre-existing conditions applies for an individual policy in Colorado (and in most other states), the insurance company can deny the application, place exclusions on the pre-existing conditions, or offer the policy at a higher initial rate based on medical history. It doesn’t matter whether the applicant has had continuous coverage or not. […]
Gary VanderArk and Gretchen Hammer, president and executive director of the Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved, have written an opinion piece for the Denver Post about how health care reform will benefit the people of Colorado. I agree with their analysis – there will be a lot positive changes once health care reform takes effect, especially for low-income Coloradans and those who are currently uninsured […]
[…] Basically, we can’t have it both ways. If we want smaller government, we have to accept that it comes with fewer regulations. And that means more control in the hands of industry and less in the hands of consumers. If we want regulation over things like premium increases and pre-existing condition limitations, we have to accept that it means more government intervention. In the case of health care and health insurance, we’ve obviously got some flaws in our current system. In some states, a person without access to an employer-sponsored health insurance policy cannot get coverage at all. That is a problem any way you look at it.
Yes, some of the problems stem from personal irresponsibility (although hopefully mandatory health insurance will help to address this issue). But some of the problems are built into the health care system, and that is why reform in the shape of government intervention is such an important task. Because a consumer versus an industry isn’t really a fair match-up.
[…] High risk pools are definitely better than nothing, but they don’t solve all insurance problems for people who have pre-existing conditions, and they don’t exist at all in some states. One of the aims of reform ought to include truly making health insurance available – in all states – to all applicants who want to purchase it. If we make all health insurance policies guaranteed issue (without also significantly expanding the pool of healthy insureds via a strong mandate), we’ll likely see higher costs for all insureds. But a good start would be to make sure that everyone, regardless of where they live, has access to at least one guaranteed issue health insurance policy (and no, discount plans and limited benefit policies don’t count).
If you’ve been declined for an individual policy by a private health insurance company in Colorado, you do still have other options. I’ll outline them here, and provide links to detailed information that you might find helpful. […]
[…] People who worked for a company that went out of business or stopped offering health insurance won’t qualify, because there won’t be a health insurance policy for them to opt to continue via COBRA. In addition, people who were laid off from small businesses might not qualify if their state doesn’t have a “mini-COBRA” law allowing these workers to continue coverage […]
[…] The number of Americans without health insurance is already way too high. And since most people get their health insurance from an employer, the rising unemployment numbers were sure to drive the number of uninsureds higher. Hopefully the stimulus bill will help to mitigate the problem for at least the rest of this year.
[…] Most people just can’t afford COBRA premiums. In Colorado, unemployment hit 6.1% in December. I’ve seen conflicting reports about the stimulus bill and whether the final version will contain relief for unemployed Americans struggling to pay for health insurance. Without it, the number of uninsureds will likely be higher this year than ever before.
[…] going uninsured means that if (when) they do run into an expensive medical problem in the future, they will be out of luck, as Cover Colorado (and other high risk pools) will enforce a waiting period on pre-existing conditions. So we still find ourselves in a situation where people are uninsured and lacking realistic access to health care.
Today’s Guest Blogger is J.A., an RN, who submitted via our “Be A Guest Blogger” page:
I am paying COBRA, health and dental at $640. per month. I am a nurse, recently diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) at age 50, this year. Cobra is 18 months with 11 month extension. I was informed I have to exhaust COBRA timeline before being eligible for Cover Colorado […]
What if every Colorado resident could be covered by a range of health insurance plans similar to what is available today in the group and individual market, but without any employer affiliations required? People would be covered continuously, regardless of their employment situation, and would not be trapped in a job just for the health insurance benefits […]
Julie Appleby has written an article for USA Today discussing the decline of employer-sponsored health insurance in the US. As group health insurance premiums continue to rise, it’s impractical to expect employers to keep absorbing the costs. More and more employers are collecting larger premium percentages from their employees, and the number of employers who… Read more about Moving Away From Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance
New York applied to the federal government recently to expand their State Children’s Health Insurance Program to more families, and the request was denied. SCHIP was designed to provide state and federal subsidies to provide health insurance for children in low income families – an admirable project. Last month, federal guidelines were changed to “refocus… Read more about Expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program
She said she realizes that the money they’ll be saving on their health insurance now is much greater than what she would have saved by having the group insurance through her employer for the 2 years she worked there. And the freedom it gave her and her husband is priceless.
1. Get quotes from multiple Colorado health insurance companies Premiums for health insurance in Colorado can vary greatly, sometimes as much as 50% for similar plans. When comparing plans, be sure to look at the benefits as well as the monthly premium. Make sure your plan provides adequate catastrophic coverage, preferably at least two million… Read more about How To Save on Health Insurance in Colorado