Coloradans who have been uninsured for the past six months and have a pre-existing condition are now able to apply for temporary health insurance coverage through Colorado’s high-risk exchange pool.
The insurance, under the Patient Protection and Affordability Act of 2010, kicks off this month. Such high-risk pools are being set up all over the country, either by the federal government, or by the states.
Gov. Bill Ritter has said that his administration has been laying the groundwork for months so Colorado would be prepared for the changes. The state is setting up this temporary coverage now and it will be available until 2014, when the exchanges will be permanent fixtures nationwide. At that point, all insurance plans will be required to cover pre-existing conditions as part of the new health care law.
The opening of the state’s insurance exchange is the latest benefit being rolled out as part of the new federal health care law. The program to provide refund checks to those who fall into the Medicare Part-D “doughnut-hole” is currently issuing its second round of payments. In September, adult children up to the age of 26 will be eligible to remain covered or be added under their parents’ health-care benefits.
“Our members and all older Americans have been waiting for this type of coverage, and they are counting on the exchanges and other critical elements to be implemented within the coming years,” said Morie Smile, Colorado AARP State Director. “As always, we’ll continue to monitor these reforms to ensure they are meeting the needs of those 50+.”
An AARP Colorado poll conducted late last year showed strong support across party and ideological lines for the Affordable Health Care for America Act. In addition to making pre-existing medical conditions a thing of the past, those polled showed above average support for such elements as choice of doctors, keeping current coverage, and coverage of routine preventive care.
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