Bills to Set up new High-Risk Pool Pass Legislature

Today the California Senate voted to pass 2 bills that would set up a “High Risk Pool” for Californians who can not otherwise get insurance due to preexisting conditions.

California currently has a high risk pool that has been severely underfunded, and as a result been unable to serve all of those who need it. It is capped at 7100 Californians, is expensive and has capped benefits, and has a waiting list.

The two bills, SB 227 (Alquist) and AB 1877 (Villines), will draw down $761 million in federal funds, which will allow the state to quadruple our capacity to serve these individuals who have among the highest need for health insurance.

Today’s action by the state legislature facilitates the implementation of yet another component of the federal health reform law and allows tens of thousands of Californians to begin to feel the benefits of health reform. Notably, the implementation of California’s High Risk Pool was the result of a bipartisan effort, with Assemblyman Villines authoring a key piece of legislation, a unanimous vote in the Assembly, and a handful of Republican Senators voting for passage of the bills.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

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