Colorado to offer coverage to uninsured |

Colorado to offer coverage to uninsured

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER – Coloradans who have been denied health insurance because of pre-existing conditions will be able to take advantage of a new state insurance plan.

Temporary coverage will become available starting Tuesday, five days after a national deadline requiring it. It will be phased out in 2014 when core parts of federal health care legislation take effect and begin barring insurance companies from rejecting people.

The state program will offer coverage to people who have been uninsured for at least six months and have been denied coverage because of a medical condition.

Gov. Bill Ritter called the plan “an important step toward improving the health security of Colorado families.”

Officials are waiting until Tuesday to release more details, but a federal Web site set up to help people find insurance estimates that the monthly premium for someone between 26 and 64 would range from $120 to $551 a month with a deductible of $2,500.

Colorado is one of 29 states that will administer their own plans for people with pre-existing conditions. The federal government will run the program in the remaining 21 states.

Colorado’s plan will be operated by Rocky Mountain Health Plans and CoverColorado, the state’s high-risk insurance pool. The state is eligible to receive federal funding to support it, but some have questioned whether the $5 billion set aside to fund such programs nationwide will be enough.

Technical experts who advise Congress and the administration have warned the funds could be exhausted as early as the end of 2011.

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