HHS To Reduce Rates For High-Risk Insurance Pools

The Obama administration on Tuesday took steps in the 18 states where the federal government runs high-risk insurance pools to make coverage more affordable to people with pre-existing conditions.

Los Angeles Times: Government To Lower Prices, Ease Rules On Health Plans For People With Pre-Existing Conditions
The Obama administration, expanding a program created by the new health care law, moved Tuesday to make health insurance more affordable and accessible for Americans who have been denied coverage because they are sick (Levey, 6/1).

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: HHS Cuts Insurance Costs For Those With Pre-Existing Illnesses
The Department of Health and Human Services said it will lower premiums in 18 states where the federal government runs high-risk insurance pools created by the 2010 health overhaul law (Adamy, 5/31).

The Associated Press: Govt. Cuts Rates For Hard-To-Insure Patients
The government is cutting premiums by up to 40 percent in 17 states and implementing other changes to make it easier for people with pre-existing medical conditions to get health insurance (Kerr, 5/31).

The Hill: HHS To Lower Premiums For High-Risk Pools
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced new policies Tuesday designed to boost enrollment in newly created insurance pools for sick people, which have come under fire for their low enrollment. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the high-risk pools will drop their premiums, in some places by as much as 40 percent. HHS will no longer limit the pools to people who have been denied coverage from a private insurance company (Baker, 5/31).

Kaiser Health News: Feds Cutting Fees, Requirements For High-Risk Health Insurance Pools
Kaiser Health News staff writer Phil Galewitz reports: "Trying to spur enrollment in a key new benefit of the 2010 health law, the Obama administration announced today it is slashing premiums for new high-risk insurance plans and no longer requiring applicants to submit a rejection letter from private insurers" (Galewitz, 5/31).

USA Today: Pre-Existing Condition Plan Can Cut Premiums
The federal government, which is hoping to boost low participation in its insurance program that covers people with pre-existing conditions, released new rules and incentives Tuesday that make it easier for people to join, such as cutting premiums in some states by up to 40 percent (Kennedy, 6/1).

NPR's Shots blog: Administration Easing Requirements For Health Insurance Pools
There's an old adage in the insurance business: Policies aren't bought; they're sold. It took top federal officials a year to figure that out, but the Obama administration now says agents could indeed help them sell their flagging high-risk insurance plans to people with pre-existing medical conditions. ... Paying agents a commission to sell the plans was one of the measures the administration unveiled today (Galewitz, 5/31).

Georgia Health News: Feds Cut Price For Pre-Existing Condition Plan
Only 18,000 Americans have enrolled in the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) since it debuted last year. Georgia's number? Just 515, as of March 31. That's despite the fact that an estimated 20 percent of the state's residents, or about 1.9 million people, lacked health insurance in 2009, the latest year for which Census Bureau statistics are available (Miller, 5/31).

The Denver Post: Feds Move To Increase Access For Those Denied Insurance
The Obama administration, expanding a program created by the new health care law, moved Tuesday to make health insurance more affordable and accessible for Americans who have been denied coverage because they are sick. Across the country, the federal government is reducing premiums on special coverage available to uninsured people with pre-existing conditions such as cancer or diabetes. And the administration is loosening restrictions on who can sign up for Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plans (Levey, 6/1).

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Monthly Premiums For Federal Health Care Program Get Slashed
Health insurance for people who are unable to buy private coverage — a core benefit of the 2010 federal health law — became hugely more attractive Tuesday when federal officials announced a big cut in monthly premiums and an easier enrollment procedure. Starting July 1, monthly premiums for the federal Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan in Minnesota will drop $60 to $257, depending on the enrollee's age and which of three policies is chosen. Premiums for someone age 35 with a $2,000 annual deductible, for instance, will drop from $281 to $174 per month. For someone 55 or older, premiums will fall from $498 to $307 (Wolfe, 05/31). 

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