HHS tweaks high-risk insurance program

Top federal health officials announced Tuesday that they would drop a major requirement for sick patients to get access to a new insurance option offered under the health reform law.

The health reform law created new high-risk insurance plans for patients with pre-existing conditions. But participation has been limited, in part because applicants had to prove they’ve been uninsured for six months to qualify for the new program.

The federal Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday they would nix that requirement-and also cut monthly premiums for the program. The move is a tactic acknowledgement that the program hasn’t been as successful as anticipated.

In Connecticut, which chose to run its own version of the high-risk pool, the initiative has not produced great results. You can read more about today’s HHS announcement here and about Connecticut’s program here.