Are you eligible for a high risk insurance pool?

Several states are accepting applications for a new high risk health insurance pool. These insurance plans cover people who have been without health insurance for at least six months and have been denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition. The high risk pools, authorized by health care reform legislation that passed in March 2010, serve as a bridge to the insurance marketplace that will be established in 2014. At that time, insurers will no longer be able to deny coverage or charge higher rates based on pre-existing conditions.
You can learn more about high risk pools by visiting the Department of Health and Human Services' new web portal at http://www.healthcare.gov.  Simply click on the link entitled "New Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan" to learn about available plans in your state and whether you qualify.
 
If you don't qualify for the high risk pool, be sure to explore other coverage options within the same website.  You'll be asked to answer a few questions before being provided a list of health insurance plans, with applications, that fit your profile.
 
These high risk health insurance pools are crucial to rural communities, where there are higher rates of uninsured residents than in large cities.  Ending the exclusion of individuals with pre-existing conditions from health care coverage was one of the most significant reforms included in the health care reform law.  Ensuring that rural Americans who qualify know how to access these pools is vitally important to making the dream of universal coverage a reality.