High-Risk Pool Healthcare Has Hefty Premiums

“High-risk pool” healthcare coverage comes at a steep price.  Healthcare coverage for uninsured Americans with pre-existing conditions won’t come cheaply. Premiums in the new “high-risk” pool could average $300 to $600 a month in certain states, according to a new government website.   The Department of Health and Human Services says that the premiums could range from $140 to as much as $900 a month.

According to Richard Popper, deputy director of the Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, “There are going to be meaningful premiums that are going to be required to stay in this plan…in the hundreds of dollars.”  HealthCare.gov estimates show that monthly premiums for a 50-year-old Floridian would be $552 to $675; for a New Yorker, the average cost would be $400 to $600; $491 to $600 for a Texan; and only $283 for a Pennsylvanian.  Coverage under the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan begins on August 1.

Consumer advocates are advising the uninsured who have health problems to sign up quickly – despite the cost – because they cannot be turned down for coverage.  The high-risk pool is a temporary solution for at-risk individuals who cannot get healthcare insurance because of a medical condition.  The pool will be available until 2014 when healthcare reform takes full effect.  At that point, insurance companies will not be allowed to turn down people in poor health.  Low- and middle-income individuals will receive subsidized coverage.

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