California's Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board has started accepting names of people with pre-existing conditions who are interested in applying for a new high-risk health insurance pool that will be funded by the federal government and run by the state, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Although the board has yet to design insurance policies or applications for the pool, it plans to maintain a list of people who would like to be notified when application forms become available (Dahlberg, Sacramento Bee, 6/30).
On Tuesday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed legislation to establish the high-risk program, which is restricted to people with pre-existing conditions who have been without insurance for at least six months.
The high-risk pool, which is a key component of the new health reform law, would cover such Californians until 2014, when a separate provision of the reform law will prohibit insurers from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions (Herdt, Ventura County Star, 6/29).
The program would help the state draw down about $761 million in federal funding and could extend coverage to an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 residents (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 6/29).
The new pool will be run by MRMIB, which also operates the state's existing high-risk pool (Ventura County Star, 6/29).