Check-out this New York Times article from earlier this month about how few patients are using the new high-risk insurance pools:
High-Risk Insurance Pools Are Attracting Few
By KEVIN SACK
Published: November 4, 2010
After the health care law passed, concerns emerged immediately that a $5 billion appropriation would not be nearly enough to cover the hordes expected to enroll in a network of new insurance pools for people with pre-existing conditions. The government’s health care actuary projected that hundreds of thousands of otherwise uninsurable people would rush to gain coverage this year, and that the money would be exhausted by 2012.
Instead, after two or three months of operation in most states, the plans have enrolled only 8,011 people, according to figures made available for the first time by the Department of Health and Human Services. Although there are notable exceptions, enrollment in most states as of Nov. 1 was well below 10 percent of capacity.
New York and Florida, for instance, have each enrolled fewer than 300, and 21 states have fewer than 50.
The slow start-up, which officials believe will accelerate next year, is cause for concern not only for the Democratic administration but also for the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives. Although Republicans opposed the health care law as a whole, they have long embraced high-risk pools as an answer to the plight of the chronically uninsured.
Hard to believe so few patients are taking advantage of the new program. Probably because they don’t know help is available?
I do favor some sort of national or transferable/transportable system for high risk (cancer) patients. Last time I checked, a United States citizen should be free to travel from state to state. With most state run high risk pools, patients who need medical care while traveling out-of-state don’t have coverage unless it is an emergency. Even more difficult: What if a patient wants to–or needs to–take a job in another state. Shouldn’t their coverage be portable?
Read more about it in this New York Times article.
Lots to think about. Feel good and keep smiling! Pat