Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Improvements to Inclusive Health State-Option Considered

Today the NC House Insurance Committee passed unanimously, HB 138. This bill, sponsored by Rep Dockham, will amend the N.C. Health Insurance Risk Pool Statutes that govern Inclusive Health. These changes will ensure that more North Carolinians living with pre-existing conditions have access to health insurance.

Specifically, the bill provides:

  1. An increase in the number of successive terms of the Board of Directors to ensure that the number of existing Board members to oversee the phasing out of the Pool in 2014 when beneficiaries are transferred into the open market on the Health Benefit Exchange.
  2. Premium subsides for eligible beneficiaries with incomes up to 300% ($32,670 for family of 1) of the federal poverty guideline when the Board deems is fiscally prudent.
  3. Reduction in the rate range from 150- 200% to 135 to 175% of standard rates for individuals charged by other insurers. The rates will be adjusted yearly, during the time of renewal.
  4. Eligibility to NC residents who have not exhausted current COBRA health insurance coverage at a rate exceeding the Pool.
  5. A reduction in the time period from 12 to 6 months that Pool coverage excludes charges and conditions for which advice or care was recommended during the 12 month period preceding coverage by the Pool.

These changes will be effective when it becomes law. The full NC House will next hear HB 138.

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