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View Diary: Feds Cut 40% from High-Risk Health Insurance Premiums (102 comments)

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  •  Existing High Risk Plan Members are Screwed. (2+ / 0-)
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    skohayes, Vyan

    But I have a proposal to fix that.

    Here's my 2 alternate proposals:

    In any State where the premiums for an existing high risk plan exceed the newly reduced premiums under the PCIP for that State, either:

    1.  Allow anyone covered under the State plan to transfer to the federal PCIP plan, or
    2.  Subsidize the premiums under the State plan to bring them within 10% of the PCIP premiums for that State while reqiring the State to maintain its level of funding.

    Here's why we need it:

    This NCSL report shows what states had state plans and how the states chose to have the new federal PCIP plans administered (state or federal).  It also shows the enrollment numbers.    

    This indicates those (like folks I know) who are already covered by a State plan are not eligible.  (WTF! - No Good Deed Goes Unpunished and the laggard - anti-government- states get bailed out once again.)

    Who is eligible for coverage through PCIP?
    Eligible individuals must:

    •Be a U.S. citizen or a legal resident
    •Have a pre-existing medical condition
    •Not have been covered under creditable health coverage (as defined by Section 201(c)(1) of the Public Health Service Act) for the previous six months before applying for coverage

    Persons currently covered by a health plan, including employer plans, Medicare, Medicaid and existing high-risk pool programs, are not eligible for PCIP.

    And the rates can be almost twice as high for coverage under the existing State Plans as they are under the PCIP  in the same state.

    For instance, under the state plan in my state, the rates are significantly higher for a $2000 deductible plan:

    July 1, 2011:          Fed PCIP*         State Plan      % Higher

    50-54:                      $221              $447.03          102%

     55+:                        $307             $556.97             81%

    *Not sure if this is before or after the 38% reduction that is projected for the  PCIP under the premium cuts announced for to spur enrollment.

    In the meantime, while they are waiting for that enrolment to surge, I have a suggestion.

    If they have the money ($5B) appropriated and could reduce people's health insurance costs by 1/2 that are in this high-risk population, why not do so now?  

    Keep the "maintence of effort" requirements that keep states from taking the money and then cutting their own contribution (effectively using it to cross-subsidize their general operations), but use some of that $5 Billion to help out ordinary Americans right now for a change.

    This would "spur" enrollment.

    Trying to spur enrollment in a key new benefit of the 2010 health law, the Obama administration announced today it is slashing premiums for new high-risk insurance plans and no longer requiring applicants to submit a rejection letter from private insurers.

    Since the plans were introduced in most states last summer, enrollment has fallen far short of expectations; only about 18,000 people have signed up. The Congressional Budget Office had estimated that as many as 4 million uninsured Americans would be eligible and that 200,000 would be enrolled by 2013. The government set aside $5 billion to fund the plans.

    We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

    by Into The Woods on Wed Jun 15, 2011 at 03:20:26 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for all the information (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Into The Woods

      I like the idea of subsidizing state plans to make them as affordable (I should probably put scare quotes around that one) as the feds' plan.

      How come the dove gets to be the peace symbol? How about the pillow? It has more feathers than the dove and doesn't have that dangerous beak. Jack Handey

      by skohayes on Wed Jun 15, 2011 at 03:52:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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