[…] Your policy will cost the same amount regardless of whether you use a broker, but an experienced broker will be able to help you make sense of the plan comparison information, including the underwriting statistics. A policy or carrier’s statistical likelihood of declining or rating up any one application isn’t really relevant to each specific client… what is relevant however, is each carrier’s underwriting guidelines for the particular pre-existing condition the applicant has. […]
[…]CoverColorado – the high risk pool that Colorado has had in place since the early 90s – instead allows eligible applicants to enroll as soon as they are without another coverage option, but makes them wait to receive coverage for pre-existing conditions if they have been uninsured prior to applying. That system encourages people to sign up as soon as they are eligible rather than waiting until they need care. It would seem that the federally-funded high risk pools might be able to boost their enrollment and also avoid adverse selection by switching to a similar eligibility model.
[…] 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. […]
[…] Some lawmakers have proposed making people pay higher deductibles or doing away with first-dollar coverage on Medigap policies, with the idea being that if people have more of their own money on the table, they would be less likely to over-utilize non-essential healthcare. The problem, of course, is that seniors who are already struggling to pay for healthcare would be more likely to skip necessary care if they had to come up with additional money to pay for it. […]
[…] Even when policies are free or very low cost (such as Medicaid or Child Health Plan Plus), a significant number of eligible individuals continue to go without coverage, for a myriad of reasons. So it stands to reason that plenty of uninsured people who are eligible for GettingUsCovered won’t apply. Some likely aren’t aware of the availability, and many others simply can’t afford to pay the premiums. But apparently Colorado is enrolling people at a fairly fast pace – as of November 1, there were 20 states that had fewer than 50 people enrolled in their newly-created high risk pools.
For nearly two decades, Cover Colorado has been providing health insurance to people in Colorado who don’t have access to group health insurance coverage and have pre-existing conditions the make them uninsurable (or unable to get coverage without exclusion riders or rate increases that put their premium above that offered by Cover Colorado) in the individual health insurance market. While we’re lucky to have such a resource, it doesn’t come cheap […]
[…] There is another significant difference between Cover Colorado and GettingUsCovered, in terms of eligibility. Both plans allow eligibility for applicants who have one of several specific medical conditions, and both plans accept applicants who have either been declined by a private insurance company or offered coverage with a pre-existing condition exclusion. But while Cover Colorado also allows people to enroll if they have been offered a private policy with a rate that is higher than a comparable Cover Colorado plan, GettingUsCovered does not allow this option. […]
[…] As I said, I have no knowledge of this particular family’s situation. But child-only policies have always been rare, and there is usually another option for those children to obtain coverage. They can be covered as a dependent on a parent’s policy (which can now include policies in the individual market), by Cover Colorado, or possibly by Medicaid or CHP+. Even situations like Thomas Wilkes, who was maxing out the lifetime caps, now has a solution because Healthcare Reform has removed lifetime maximums. There is a long way to go, and this situation is frustrating. But if you ever hear anybody say that they have no options to get their child covered in Colorado, please pass this information along. I hope that Mr. Serrano signs Maria up for some health insurance today, whether it is on a family policy with him, Cover Colorado, or CHP+. We should not be hearing anymore stories about uninsured children simply because their parents aren’t aware of the options available.
Earlier this summer, HHS announced that businesses could begin submitting applications to the newly-created Early Retiree Reinsurance Program in order to receive federal funding to help pay for retirees’ health insurance until they become eligible for Medicare. To date, 2000 businesses have been approved for the program, and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says that this is just the beginning. Businesses have shown great interest in the reinsurance program… […]
[…] It’s nice to see Colorado leading the way in terms of using the federal high risk pool money to set up a new program for people with pre-existing conditions. Whether the money will hold out until 2014 remains to be seen, but at least we are now well on our way to having one more option for people in Colorado who can’t qualify for private health insurance.
The new Colorado health insurance program for people with pre-existing conditions is supposed to become available next week, but there seems to still be a lot of confusion about how it’s going to work. Since Colorado already has a policy available for people with pre-existing conditions (Cover Colorado), we are one of the states that is opting to use the federal money to set up another risk pool for applicants who cannot qualify for medically underwritten individual policies […]
[…] 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).
[…] Yes, companies like Wellpoint are in business to make a profit. But that doesn’t mean that everything they say in the health care reform debate should be dismissed. If we don’t make sure that everyone becomes part of the health insurance pool, we’ll likely be looking at fewer health insurance companies and far higher premiums after a few years of guaranteed issue policies.
I have often wondered about the feasibility of Cover Colorado expanding their eligibility to attract healthier applicants and perhaps improve their loss ratio. The state high risk pool health insurance policy – has claims expenses that far exceed premiums collected. Fees on private health insurance companies and a grant from Medicare help to make up the difference. […]
[…] What makes this story different from most of the other ones out there is that Loralee got to speak with Valerie Jarrett at BlogHer last month, and has written a very detailed post about the experience. Loralee describes herself as a moderate Republican, but is very much in support of health care reform as proposed by the current administration. […]
[…] There are two sides to the health care debate, and plenty of misconceptions. Genuine access to health care for all Americans is vitally important. But so are the financial implications – both on a personal and national level – of any health care reform bill. To discredit either side flippantly is disingenuous, but so is using terms like “death panel” to incite fear and anger instead of rational discourse.
Marcy Morrison, the Colorado insurance commissioner, has made it clear that she supports keeping insurance regulation at a state level. The creation of a Health Choices Commissioner is part of the reform bill drafted by House Democrats, and would basically duplicate a lot of the responsibilities currently handled by state insurance commissioners. […]
[…] The Colorado Insurance Commissioner regulates the health insurance market in Colorado to make it as beneficial as possible for consumers. Opening the health insurance market to allow for out of state plans to be sold here in Colorado would mean that consumers might end up with lower quality health insurance products, regulated by another state’s rules. […]
At the Colorado Health Insurance Insider, we’ve often written about the “free market” in health care. In our corner of the industry, there’s really only a free market for the healthiest of applicants. Those with pre-existing conditions can’t get some polices no matter how much they’re […]
[…] I realize that anecdotes are not statistical data. And the story of one family’s struggles with health insurance, regardless of how compelling that story may be, is indeed an anecdote. But I challenge anyone who believes that our health care and health insurance systems are not broken, to come up with a workable solution for the Wilkes family.
We work primarily in the individual health insurance market. Colorado is one of the healthiest states in the US, and yet we still have about one applicant in ten unable to obtain coverage. Luckily we have a high risk pool – Cover Colorado – that we can present as a last resort, but the high premiums and out-of-pocket expenses can be a bit off-putting. Although 9 out of 10 applicants […]
…in Colorado, Cover Colorado provides a reasonable coverage option, although many people find that the only deductible they can afford is much higher than they would like. But what about people who live in the 40% of states that don’t have a high risk pool? Or the ones who live in states where the high risk pool was financially swamped ages ago and hasn’t […]
The Colorado Blue Ribbon Commission for Health Care Reform made its final report to the Colorado General Assembly last week. The 176 page document was endorsed by 24 of the 27 diverse commissioners, and includes provisions that the Commission says will reduce the number of Coloradans without health insurance (currently 792,000 people) by 88%. The… Read more about Colorado Blue Ribbon Commission Report Finalized
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.