Saturday, May 5, 2007

House Approves High-Risk Insurance Pool

On Monday night, the House gave final passage to legislation (HB 1895) that would create a health insurance instrument to assist uninsurable people in getting affordable coverage. The North Carolina Health Insurance Risk Pool would cover those who can’t afford health insurance or can’t qualify under traditional plans. The pool would guarantee coverage to patients with premiums of no more than 150 percent the rate of an individual covered by a standard health care plan. Premiums and a fee on insurers of up to $2 – phased in through 2012 – per each traditional customer it serves would go into the pool to pay the health care costs of the high-risk patients. Supporters of the bill said this was a first step toward providing affordable health care to an estimated 1.3 million North Carolinians who do not have health insurance. The House voted 95-11 in favor of sending the idea to the Senate, which has yet to take up the measure, and it appears unlikely that it will take it up, meaning we will have to wait until next year for any action on this.