After experiencing claims that have now totaled twice the average for the country, the struggling high-risk health insurance pool in Colorado has now asked the federal government for additional funding of almost $15 million more than originally anticipated.
Colorado has already received $90 from a total pool of $5 billion in federal money for assistance in carrying out an element of the country’s healthcare reform which involved insuring high-risk uninsurable individuals. The funds were meant to hold out until the insurance regulations are fully in place in 2014, at which point insurance companies will be responsible for covering everybody, regardless of whether they have a preexisting medical condition.
However, official records are showing that extremely high medical expenses from the sickest patients in the state have forced it to spend an average of $22,500 each on their care, within the first year alone. This has caused the state to spend $21.7 million of the money from the pool on claims that have been submitted by 964 patients.
The other states’ quarterly reports have indicated that they have had an average per-patient spending of $11,500 among the states that run their own pools. There are 23 states that have their pools run by the U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS) as they did not set them up themselves.
Programs comparable in size to that in Colorado, such as in Oregon and Wisconsin, spent between $4,400 and $15,640 per patient.
That said, Colorado is not alone in its request to obtain more funding for their pograms. According to Steve Larson, who is responsible for the managing of the high-risk pools at the HHS’s federal Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, eight other states have also asked for supplements to the budget they were originally provided.
For more insurance news and updates posted daily.