Hhs Awards Grants To 22 States To Cover Those Too Sick For Conventional Insurance
Grants of $14.4 million to help states provide health insurance to citizens who cannot get conventional health coverage because they are too sick have been announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The grants build on $25.6 million awarded in September 2004 for a total of $40 million.
The grants are used by states to offset losses incurred in FY 2003 and 2004 in state high-risk pools, which offer health coverage to individuals with serious medical conditions.
More than 180,000 individuals are enrolled in state high-risk pools across the country. In addition to providing health insurance coverage to individuals with health problems, high risk pools also assist in keeping private health insurance more affordable for healthier people.
The grants were authorized in the Trade Adjustment Assistance Reform Act of 2002 (Trade Act). To be eligible, a state must have a “qualified” high-risk pool that meets the criteria specified in the Trade Act and must follow such rules as capping premiums at no higher than 150 percent of the standard charge in the state.
Each state was eligible for a grant that matches up to 50 percent of the losses incurred in the operation of its risk pool.
Funds were distributed based on the number of uninsured individuals in each state. HHS’ Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administers the program.
The first installment of the $40 million, or $25.6 million, was awarded in September 2004 and the $14.4 balance was awarded this October. In addition, 19 states had previously received grants totaling $40 million to offset losses incurred in FY 2002.
Total High Risk Pool Allocation for 2004 are:
New Hampshire $531,515
New Mexico $1,738,727
North Dakota $292,703