New Coverage Information for Maryland Residents with Preexisting Conditions
July 28, 2010
Under an agreement entered into by the Maryland Health Insurance Plan and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Maryland will make health insurance coverage available to uninsured Maryland residents with a preexisting condition through a temporary federal high risk pool program.
On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), as amended by the Health Care and Education Recovery Act of 2010. PPACA requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a temporary high risk pool program to provide health insurance coverage to uninsured individuals with a preexisting condition. The Secretary is authorized to carry out the program directly or through contracts with states or other eligible entities.
Following the enactment of PPACA, the Maryland General Assembly enacted House Bill 1564, which authorizes the Board of Directors for the Maryland Health Insurance Plan (MHIP) to administer the federal high risk pool program for Maryland. Governor O'Malley signed the bill into law as Chapter 173, Acts of 2010 on April 13, 2010. On April 26, 2010, Governor O'Malley sent a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services designating MHIP as the entity that would implement the federal high risk pool program for Maryland.
MHIP currently operates a state high risk pool program and has the experience and expertise necessary to establish and operate the federal high risk pool program in a timely and efficient manner. To be eligible for coverage under the federal high risk pool program, an individual must:
- Be a citizen or national of the United States or lawfully present in the United States;
- Be a resident of Maryland;
- Not have had health insurance for a continuous six-month period of time prior to the date of application to the federal high risk pool program;
- Not be eligible for certain other health insurance coverage; and
- Provide certain evidence of a preexisting condition.
The temporary federal high risk pool program will remain in effect until the end of 2013, when it will be replaced by an insurance exchange established under PPACA. Maryland expects to receive approximately $85 million in federal funding for the federal high risk pool program during the life of the program.
MHIP is accepting applications and enrolling individuals in the MHIP Federal program. For more information, please call (443) 738-0667 or888-444-9016, M-F 8AM – 5PM.