Health plans for high-risk patients attracting fewer, costing more than expected

After reading just the headline, all I can say is…  “Gee, we didn’t see that coming, now did we?” (I hope you sense the sarcasm in that statement.)  This is a fairly long article talking about the high-risk patient plans, but really the point is – the plans will cost too much and are therefore attracting fewer participants than expected.  I didn’t think we needed to be told this, but I guess some people still have their blindfolds on.  Coverage for people who are a ‘high risk’ is going to cost more.  It hasto.  Auto insurers don’t cover a pre-existing door ding unless you pay more.  Health insurers operate under the same formula.

From the Washington Post

An early feature of the new health-care law that allows people who are already sick to get insurance to cover their medical costs isn’t attracting as many customers as expected.

In the meantime, in at least a few states, claims for medical care covered by the “high-risk pools” are proving very costly, and it is an open question whether the $5 billion allotted by Congress to start up the plans will be sufficient.

Federal health officials contend the new insurance plans, designed solely for people who already are sick, are merely experiencing growing pains. It will take time to spread the word that they exist and to adjust prices and benefits so that the plans are as attractive as possible, the officials say.

State-level directors of the plans agree, in part. But in interviews, they also said that the insurance premiums are unaffordable for some who need the coverage – and that some would-be customers are skittish about the plans… Read Full Story

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