Are you eligible for a high risk insurance pool?

Have you or someone you know been denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition?


Earlier this month, several states started taking applications for a new high risk health insurance pool. These are insurance plans that cover people who have been without health insurance for at least six months and been denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition. The high risk pool serves as a bridge to the insurance exchanges 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 pool options in your state by visiting the Department of Health and Human Services' new web portal. Simply click on your state to learn about available plans and whether you qualify.

If you don't qualify for the high risk pool, be sure to explore other coverage options within this same website. It's an easy process that starts on the homepage: You'll answer a few questions before being provided a list of health insurance plans that fit your profile. It even includes the applications.

It's important to get the word out about this new high risk pool in our rural communities, where rates of uninsured residents are higher than their urban counterparts.

Please pass this information along to your friends and colleagues, post it in newsletters and letters to the editor, and raise awareness through community meetings and other summer events. We all benefit when health care works for all rural people.

By Kristina Hubbard