With all the talk about the high-risk pools that McCain plans to create, it’s a good thing to simply highlight that California already has a high-risk pool, even few people know about it.
It’s called MRMIP, the Major Risk Medical Insurance Program.
People who are denied coverage because of “pre-existing conditions” have to pay more than the market rate to get the coverage. It’s a lifeline for those who can’t get coverage any other way, but it’s expensive, and has drawbacks.
The plans offered have a $75,000 overall annual cap on benefits (here’s a report on the MRMIP benefit), leaving people with that coverage at risk to significant medical debt, if they happen to be sick.
There’s a bill, AB2(Dymally), that Health Access California supports, to reform the program, including getting it more funding so it can provide a better benefit to more people. Its parked from last year, but without full “guaranteed issue” health reform, this issue will continue to be with us.