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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

NC legislature passes High Risk Pool law

I don't know how I missed this story because I have been looking for it. This is the main issue among the people who need health insurance. People with pre-existing conditions sometimes get declined for health insurance or offered a higher rate than you could imagine. Some people can only get a policy to cover them for 2500 dollars a month. This legislation did not make it through last year because the general assembly ended the session before they could vote for it. It has been under the radar, but it is immensely significant for many NC residents.

It was just passed last month and is on the Governor's desk to sign. Now the most that health insurance companies can charge for a high risk client is up to 200% of what a healthy person can get. I will be following this news so that I can help my clients save money and get coverage. Enjoy the article.

State to cover riskiest illnesses
Legislature passes health insurance

Lynn Bonner, Staff Writer

North Carolina residents whose illnesses have pushed them out of the market for private health insurance will soon have another option.

The state House gave final approval Thursday to a plan to build a government-sponsored insurance pool for people with serious illnesses who cannot afford or qualify for private coverage. It could help as many as 14,000 people in North Carolina within 10 years.

Thirty-four states already offer such insurance plans.

For at least four years, legislators have talked about offering insurance to people whom companies won't cover, or will cover only at high costs. Now the bill needs only the signature of Gov. Mike Easley to make it a reality.

Barbara Garlock of Raleigh has been waiting for legislators to approve such a program. She might need it.

Garlock, 47, was diagnosed with cancer three years ago, when her husband was self-employed, and has undergone treatments since then.

An insurance plan with a $1,800 monthly premium and a $10,000 deductible was the most affordable she could find -- easier on the family budget than the policy they found that would have cost $3,400 a month.

Garlock's husband now gets insurance through an employer, but she fears having to go back to search for coverage if he should change jobs.

"It's scary enough to face the prospect of dying," Garlock said in a trembling voice. "It's even scarier to think that your family could lose their home because you got sick."

The insurance won't be free. Subscribers will pay 65 percent of the cost through their premiums. Premiums will be set at 150 percent to 200 percent of what a healthy person would pay for private insurance.

Continue the article here.

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