House Approves Bill To Provide State Grants for High-Risk Insurance Pools
The House on Wednesday passed by voice vote a bill (HR 3204) that would reauthorize $15 million in grants for fiscal year 2005 to states that establish high-risk health insurance pools, CQ Today reports. Under the legislation, sponsored by Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.), states could receive as much as $1 million in funds to establish high-risk health insurance pools, which serve individuals who cannot obtain coverage because of a medical condition. States cap premiums for high-risk health insurance pools at a percentage of market premiums to maintain affordability for participants.
In addition, the bill would authorize $50 million annually in operating grants through 2009 for states that currently have high-risk health insurance pools. States would have to use at least 50% of the funds to improve benefits for participants of high-risk health insurance pools. The Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions Committee approved a similar version (S 288) of the bill in February (Schuler, CQ Today, 7/27).