Since we don't seem to be able to find many of those people, HHS is using the money to cover anyone who lacks insurance and can get a doctor to attest that they've been sick in the last year. They will eventually no doubt claim that the high-risk pools were a success, relaxing the conditions until they can say they've covered 200,000 or so people. But the mystery will not have gone away. Where are the uninsurables? And why didn't they want to buy insurance?
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Health insurance for the uninsured: not many takers so far
I always thought the key motivation behind Obamacare was that it would provide insurance for those who could not obtain it on their own, especially those with pre-existing conditions. Medicare and the Congressional Budget Office estimated that between 200k and 400k individuals would have signed up for the high-risk health insurance pools by now. Atlantic blogger Megan McArdle takes a look and finds that only 18k have purchased insurance through the pools. Why so low? McArdle argues that the eligibility criteria are not very strict and the cost is reasonable ($285/month in NC with a $3500 deductible), so neither of those factors should be at work. Money quote: