Colorado opens insurance pool ahead of reform

Colorado will be opening a new temporary insurance pool for people with pre-existing conditions. Under the plan, the state will offer coverage until new federal health care reforms beginning in 2014.

Colorado will be one of 30 states that have decided to start offering the temporary coverage ahead of federal requirements. Residents will have to have been uninsured for at least six months or longer and unable to obtain their own coverage because of their existing medical history.

Under the federal health care reform package passed earlier this year, insurers will no longer be able to deny coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions. However, that rule won’t go into effect until 2014, leaving those people uninsured for another four years. In response to this effort some states are looking for ways to begin early with the understanding that the requirements mandated at the federal level will eventually take over. Pre-existing conditions aren’t the only areas where states are starting to get a jump start on health care reform. As CivSource reported last month, states like Pennsylvania are also looking at measures to keep rising premiums under control and are asking for federal help on Medicaid costs.

“Thousands of Coloradans are unable to get health insurance because of a pre-existing condition,” Gov. Ritter said. “I look forward to working together with our partners, Rocky Mountain Health Plans and CoverColorado, to provide Coloradans who have been denied coverage access to much-needed relief through this temporary insurance plan. This will be an important step toward improving the health security of Colorado families.”