Why High-Risk Pools for Americans with Preexisting Conditions Are Not Viable

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<p>The American Health Care Act (AHCA), recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, would give states the option to segregate people with preexisting health conditions from the broader insurance pool and place these potentially costly patients into high-risk pools. In a post on <em><a href="/blog/2017/why-and-how-avoid-high-risk-pools-americans-preexisting-conditions">To the Point</a></em>, Commonwealth Fund grantee Jean P. Hall, Ph.D., explains why restoring high-risk pools would represent a step backward.</p><p>Prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), 35 states had high-risk pools, but overall these programs did not make insurance more affordable or accessible, Hall notes. Moreover, the Congressional Budget Office has determined that the AHCA’s funding for high-risk pools is inadequate.</p>
<p>Hall, who also discusses the drawbacks of high-risk pools in a <a href="/publications/journal-article/2017/may/high-risk-pools-illusion-coverage-may-increase-costs-all-long">commentary</a> for <em>Annals of Internal Medicine,</em> proposes that policymakers retain the ACA and implement reinsurance programs instead. “These programs would maintain the overall larger pool of insured people in the state while protecting insurers against catastrophic costs,” she writes.</p>

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