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Ellsworth Introduces Bill to Open High-Risk Pools to Chronically-Ill Patients Who Have Run Out of COBRA

Press Release

Location: Evansville, IN

Bill Ensures Affordable Coverage for the Unemployed, Will Reduce Premiums for Insured By Eliminating "Hidden Tax"

Today, Brad Ellsworth introduced the High-Risk Pool Fairness Act, a bill designed to put affordable health care coverage within reach of chronically-ill Americans who have exhausted their COBRA coverage but will not qualify for the high-risk pool for over six months.

"A bureaucratic misinterpretation of the health care bill requires individuals be uninsured for six months before they are eligible to enroll in the new high-risk pools regardless of their situation," said Brad. "This bill will ensure chronically-ill Americans with pre-existing conditions who have run out of their COBRA insurance will have access to affordable coverage. It also will lower premiums for the insured by reducing the "hidden-tax' insurance companies charge the insured when the uninsured visit the emergency room."

The High-Risk Pool Fairness Act clears up an ambiguous requirement in the new health care reform law that leaves affordable health care coverage out of the reach for many unemployed Americans. The bill currently requires chronically-ill individuals with pre-existing condition to be uninsured for six months before they are eligible to enroll in the "high-risk pools." The six month rule was intended to ensure no one games the system and drops their current coverage for this new program. Unfortunately, it will require individuals who have exhausted their 18 month COBRA benefits to wait six months before they can even apply for an affordable policy through the high-risk pool program. This bill will allow unemployed Americans who have recently exhausted their COBRA benefits or who are close to that point to apply for coverage through the high-risk pools.

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