Health Care Reform and Pre-Existing Health Conditions

It's no lie that our current health insurance system makes it difficult for people with health conditions to obtain coverage. Making it illegal to deny insurance coverage because of a health condition is one of the most significant changes of health reform.

Pre-existing health conditions are illnesses, conditions or disabilities that individuals have before enrolling in a health insurance plan.

Children with Pre-Existing Conditions

Starting on September 23, 2010, insurance companies will not be allowed to deny children with pre-existing conditions health insurance coverage.

Every child will be able to get health insurance coverage regardless of their health status.

Individual or group health insurance policies that are new on or after September 23, 2010, must provide health insurance to children with medical conditions. Plans that were active before this date can still deny coverage for certain conditions.

Adults with Pre-Existing Conditions

Adults with pre-existing conditions can still be denied health insurance until 2014. Then in 2014, every American will be guaranteed health insurance without regard to their health status.

Until that time, adults can join their state's high risk pool which guarantees acceptance into coverage.

How do the high risk pools work?

From July 2010 to January 2014, there will be temporary high risk health insurance pools set up for individuals who cannot get insurance coverage in the private market. These high risk pools will allow people with pre-existing conditions obtain a health insurance plan.

The pools will run like typical health insurance policies and require enrollees to pay monthly premiums and deductibles. For more information on the high risk pools in your area visit our High Risk Health Insurance information section.

If you'd like more information about your state's high risk pool, visit your state's insurance department or health department website.