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Among other things, national health reform gives states an opportunity to create an insurance pool for people with pre-existing conditions. The law gives CT up to $50 million, possibly more, to implement a high-risk pool through 2014. At that point the law prohibits insurers from denying coverage to adults based on pre-existing conditions and it is expected that people with prior health problems will be able to secure affordable coverage in the private market and public exchange. Insurers are prohibited from excluding coverage for children with pre-existing conditions this year. CT has had a high risk pool since 1975 operated by the Health Reinsurance Association, however it has provided relief to few CT consumers due to very high costs. In a letter to HHS yesterday, Gov. Rell indicated that CT is interested in providing the new pool coverage through the existing HRA administration but offered by DSS. DSS does not have a promising record of promoting or administering health coverage programs. The Governor made clear that CT is not willing to devote any state funding to the pool due to the budget crisis and is not making a commitment to developing a program.
Ellen Andrews