Thursday, June 9, 2011

Gov't cuts rates for hard-to-insure patients

The government is cutting premiums by up to 40 percent in nearly two dozen states and implementing other changes to make it easier for people with pre-existing medical conditions to get health insurance.

The move Tuesday comes as enrollment in the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan continues to lag far behind expectations, often because people can't afford the premiums or find it too hard to meet enrollment requirements.

The insurance program, part of President Barack Obama's signature health care law, began last summer. It offers health insurance to people with medical problems at prices the average healthy person would pay, although that's not necessarily cheap.

So far, about 18,000 people have signed up - well short of government projections that some 375,000 people would gain coverage in 2010.

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