The pool will be open soon
Rhode Island has decided to designate Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island to run the federal government’s high risk pool!
High risk pools are opening up all across the country. They’re designed to offer health insurance to people who were denied coverage in the past because they were too sick.
That’s not really a problem in Rhode Island, because we require health plans here to offer coverage regardless of health status. However, the health plans do charge more for insurance if you’re sick. That’s where the high risk pool can help.
RI is using 13 million dollars in federal funds to allow sick uninsured Rhode Islanders to buy insurance at the price of insurance for someone who’s healthy.
The program has enough money to cover about 500 Rhode Islanders and it lasts until 2014, when health reform will make it be illegal to deny someone health insurance or increase their premiums because they’re very sick.
Blue Cross starts accepting applications in mid august and the program starts October 1st.
For more background on high risk pools, see my earlier post here.