Alaska’s 500 Sickest Residents Were Driving Up Costs For Everyone. So The State Stepped In.
The state's "high-risk pool" approach could serve as a model to Republicans who want to dismantle the health law but retain the popular provision that no one can be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions.
The Wall Street Journal:
Alaska’s Novel Plan To Cut Health Premium Costs
Health-insurance premiums for individuals in Alaska have been soaring almost 40% a year. The main reason: the cost of covering fewer than 500 residents who are among the sickest in the state, according to one state analysis. That prompted the state government to come up with a novel solution. It agreed in June to kick in $55 million for at least a year to cover the health-care costs for those patients, whose outsize medical bills prompted insurers to boost premiums for all 23,000 customers in an effort to remain profitable. (Raice and Wilde Mathews, 11/22)
Back To The Future: Insurance Pools For High-Risk Patients Could Be Revived
It wasn’t so long ago that health insurance horror stories fueled discussions around the family dinner table and the national debate over health care reform. “One company said I was too heavy,” said Scott Svonkin, of Los Angeles, of the time he was denied an individual health policy in 2005. Svonkin, 50, said two other insurers seemed OK with his weight but also turned him down, citing his asthma and his wife’s pregnancy, which could put the insurers on the hook for a dependent whose health was uncertain. (Bartolone, 11/23)
Previous KHN Coverage: Sounds Like A Good Idea? High-Risk Pools