The New York Times is reporting today that, two or three months after most states have opened their high-risk insurance pools as part of health care reform, far fewer people than expected have been enrolling. According to the Department for Health and Human Services, only 8,011 people have enrolled nationwide, an astoundingly low figure. As of November 1, most states had enrollment under 10% of capacity.
Today's article suggests that getting the word out about the program is a large part of low-enrollment. While marketing through radio and TV has not proven effective for other specialized insurance programs, educating hospitals, doctors, and insurance agents has been helpful.
In Pennsylvania, the new pool for uninsured individuals with preexisting conditions is called "PA Fair Care." Eligible individuals pay a monthly premium of $283 and do not risk losing their place on the adultBasic waiting list if they apply. The program provides insurance and prescription drug coverage to qualified individuals.
If you qualify for PA Fair Care, or know someone who does, you can apply through the Pennsylvania COMPASS system. Also, please pass this information on to doctors, hospitals, healthcare centers, and insurance agents in your area.
updated 11/8/10 - On November 7, The Allentown Morning Call reported that PA Fair Care stands at approximately 1,300 enrollees, though it is designed to carry 3,500 people this year and 5,300 in 2011. By comparison, New Jersey's plan, with room for 20,000 people, currently has 150 applications.
updated 11/10/10- On November 9, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that PA Fair Care is responsible for 20% of all enrollees in the federal Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan.