Are High Risk Pools & Major Risk Insurances Plans Extinct?

march-31Prior to January 1, 2014, a health insurance company could deny individuals a health insurance plan because of their gender, their age, or their past or current medical conditions.

Because this left may individuals and families without health insurance coverage, about 35 states stepped in to offer a state major risk insurance plan, to offer a health insurance option for people with pre-existing medical conditions.

Major risk insurance plans are also called high risk pools in some states.

These state plans are different than the federal Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans (PCIP) that are available in every state under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). These plans will end on March 31, 2014, as people will be able to transition into a Marketplace Plan or Medicaid.

Thanks to the ACA, after January 1, 2014, individuals with pre-existing medical conditions can no longer be denied health insurance coverage, and cannot be charged more for health insurance coverage because of those medical conditions.  Individuals and families can purchase health insurance coverage through the State Health Insurance Marketplaces.  For more information about Marketplace and other insurance options, visit the Health Insurance section of our blog for past articles.

Because of this new protection, some states do not see a continued need for their high risk pools and major risk insurance plans.  Some states have decided to end their plans as of December 31, 2013, such as Kentucky, North Carolina, and Oregon, while some states have chosen to phase out their plans over the next few years.

For information on what is happening in your state, click here.

For more information on health insurance options in your state, visit, or contact your state insurance agency found here.

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