Thursday, January 12, 2012

High risk health insurance pool spending money faster than expected | The Republic

High risk health insurance pool spending money faster than expected | The Republic

Montana's high risk pool, like that of other states, serves many people with MS who can't get health care elsewhere due to their pre-existing condition. These programs, usually partially funded by assessments on insurance companies and tax subsidies, provide a valuable service to the MS community. Even with these subsidies, high risk pool premiums are very expensive and contribute to the high cost of health care for people with MS. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, we expect to see an end to these high risk pools as their members will soon be able to get affordable health insurance in the open market. Until then, we need to continue to fund these programs in every state.

Learn more about the high risk pool in your state:

Alaska Comprehensive Health Association
Montana Comprehensive Health Association
Washington State Health Insurance Pool

The Affordable Care Act provides additional funding to states to expand their high risk pools, allowing more people to access health insurance. If you've been without health insurance for more than 6 months and been denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition, you may be eligible. Follow the above links to learn more.

Strong advocacy efforts from groups like the National MS Society led to the creation of high risk pools and we've been active in efforts to keep the programs focused on people with MS and other chronic disease. In 2011, Montana's Government Relations Committee supported legislation to make it cheaper and easier for Montana residents to access the high risk pool. This was only possible due to the efforts of our volunteers in Montana. If you want to help out with similar efforts, let us know.

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