Nebraska Health Insurance No High Risk Pool

In Nebraska health insurance, an April 27 letter, Governor Dave Heineman informed Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius that Nebraska has elected not to participate in the temporary federal high-risk pool created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009. In his letter, Governor Heineman cited Department of Insurance Director Ann Frohman who said that “the proposed level of federal support and premiums will be inadequate to meet all expected obligations of this program. Even with enrollment caps, we are very concerned that funding will not be sufficient to assure a solvent runoff of all claims when the program expires in three years.”  While he acknowledged that the federal government would proceed with a new high-risk pool in Nebraska health insurance regardless of the state’s decision, Governor Heineman noted that the existing state high-risk pool and the proposed federal pool are sufficiently different to require running separately. He questioned the value of adding a new layer of bureaucracy at the state level to administer this program. Secretary Sebelius gave Governors an April 30 deadline for indicating whether they intend to operate the pool or allow HHS to do so.

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