July 1, 2010 Marks a Day of Hope for Uninsured Americans with Preexisting Medical Conditions

Under the national health care reform bill signed into law by President Obama earlier this year, insurance companies will no longer be allowed to refuse to sell health insurance coverage or refuse to renew health insurance coverage because of an individual’s preexisting medical condition. However, this provision of the health care bill does not become effective until January 1, 2014.

So, in the interim, in order to alleviate the financial burden on Americans who currently suffer from preexisting conditions and who remain uninsured because of it, the federal government has set aside $5 billion so that states can establish what are called, “high risk insurance pools.”

Illinois is participating in the program and will administer its own high risk insurance pool beginning on July 1, 2010. The Illinois high risk pool will allow qualifying individuals with preexisting medical conditions who have been uninsured for at least 6 months to apply for and obtain health insurance coverage at an affordable deductible and co-payment. The Illinois Department of Insurance will accept applications from individuals who wish to enroll in the Illinois high risk insurance pool at an unspecified time later this summer. At present, because of the newness of the Illinois high insurance risk pool, limited information is available regarding the specific details and procedures of the program; however, those interested in following the latest developments, can visit the Illinois Department of Insurance website: http://www.insurance.illinois.gov/