ODI Asks Health Insurers To Provide High Risk Pool /Open Enrollment Info

The Ohio Department of Insurance has requested that health insurers who have denied someone coverage in Ohio’s individual market due to pre-existing conditions to inform them of the availability of high risk pool and open enrollment coverage, Director Mary Jo Hudson announced.

 “Substantial change is underway in the health insurance arena so more people are able to secure health insurance,” Director Hudson said. “There are now multiple coverage choices for those who have been denied health insurance. The Ohio High Risk Pool and open enrollment programs can insure Ohioans with pre-existing conditions at more affordable rates and we are asking the industry to help us inform Ohioans about these options.”

 As part of Governor Strickland’s efforts to decrease the number of Ohioans without health insurance, the Ohio High Risk Pool was established to provide coverage to high-risk individuals who have been uninsured for at least six-months and meet other eligibility requirements. The program, which began taking applications on August 1, 2010 and runs through 2013, is administered by Medical Mutual of Ohio, a non-profit health insurer headquartered in Cleveland. A cap on health insurers’ open enrollment rates was recently mandated as another reform to make coverage more available to more people.

 The Department has requested Ohio-licensed health insurers provide the following information to applicants denied coverage in the state’s individual market:

 Ohio’s high risk pool and open enrollment programs provide coverage to individuals with pre-existing health conditions subject to certain eligibility requirements and available funding. More information can be obtained about Ohio’s high-risk pool by calling 1-800-730-1117 or accessing the following website: www.OhioHighRiskPool.com. Information about Ohio’s open enrollment program can be obtained by calling 1-800-686-1526 or accessing the following website: www.insurance.ohio.gov.

Ohioans with questions concerning health insurance, and the new health care reform, are encouraged to contact the Ohio Department of Insurance by calling 1-800-686-1526.  Free information can also be obtained atwww.healthcarereform.ohio.gov.

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