A Rocky Start for The High-Risk Pool in Illinois?


A Rocky Start for The High-Risk Pool in Illinois?

Monday, June 21st, 2010 - 7:58
Monday, June 21, 2010 - 07:44
Illinois will miss the July 1 deadline established in the health reform law to set up a new high-risk pool for those with pre-existing conditions.

We have written previously on this blog about the importance of a smooth implementation of the new high-risk pool to cover those with pre-existing conditions. The temporary pool serves as a bridge to cover those who haven't been able to get covered until more substantive reforms go into effect in 2014. Expanding coverage in the near term is a big part of trying to sell health reform.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports today that Illinois will miss the July 1 deadline. The pool in Illinois won't be set up until mid-to-late August after state lawmakers failed to approve legislation to help create it. Additionally, the story reports the state will receive $196 million from the federal government to set up the new pool, which is enough to cover about 5,000 people from now until 2014. Illinois has an estimated 2.5 million people with chronic conditions.

We've also written about the $5 billion in federal funding for the high risk pool and whether it will be enough. Illinois appears to be the first state where some of these challenges with the high-risk pool will play out. Are there any others?