Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler and Gov. Chris Gregoire have notified Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that Washington state intends to run its own temporary, federally-funded high risk health insurance program.
“We cannot afford to miss this opportunity to provide much needed coverage to our uninsured,” said Kreidler. “There are many details that need to be worked out, but we plan to leverage the administrative framework and experience of the Washington State Health Insurance Program (WSHIP).”
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act designated $5 billion in federal funds to create temporary high risk pool programs to provide health insurance to currently uninsured individuals with preexisting conditions from July 1, 2010 to Jan. 1, 2014. States could either let the federal government run the program or contract with the federal government to set up the high risk pools through state programs or private non-profit entities.
More, including a link to the letter.