Ohio residents who have pre-existing medical conditions and have been turned down for health insurance coverage are being encouraged to apply with the new Ohio High Risk Pool. The Ohio High Risk Pool, which is being managed by Medical Mutual of Ohio, is designed to provide health insurance coverage to state residents who have pre-existing conditions. State residents must be without health insurance for six months or more before they are eligible to apply and they may not be eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, Healthy Start or an employer-sponsored health insurance plan.
The Ohio High Risk Pool has two plans to choose from, as customers can choose the plan with the $1,500 deductible or the plan with the $2,500 deductible. The two plans do not have any sliding fees or income guidelines. The rates are determined solely by which plan is chosen, the customer’s age, where the customer lives and if the customer is a smoker. Monthly rates for Athens County residents range from $92 to $665. A 23-year-old Athens County resident who does not smoke and chooses the plan with the $2,500 deductible, for example, would pay $124 per month. A 57-year-old Athens County resident who does not smoke but chooses the plan with the $1,500 deductible would pay $425 per month.
Applicants to the program must provide written documentation of the pre-existing condition from a physician or nurse practitioner, evidence of denial of health insurance coverage by two insurance providers, proof of residency in Ohio and proof of citizenship. The federal government’s healthcare reform program requires each state to have a high-risk insurance pool, and the health insurance coverage in Ohio from the Ohio Risk Pool will begin on Sept. 1. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is providing funding for the program, but funding is limited so interested area residents are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. For more information, call 1-877-730-1117 or log onto www.ohiohighriskpool.com.