Karen Lewis’ battle with diabetes has left her near financial ruin, struggling to afford care, missing medications, and recently paying $11,000 for a two-night visit to a hospital. She has no insurance and is representative of thousands of Coloradans with pre-existing conditions who have not had coverage for at least the past six months, writes 2CW.
But now, a federally funded, $90 million statewide plan called “Getting Us Covered” will be in place until 2014, when federal provisions of health-care reform take effect, preventing private insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.
“When people can’t get coverage through no fault of their own, we have a responsibility to our neighbors to find a way to allow them to access that system,” says Steve ErkenBrack, the CEO of Rocky Mountain Health Plans, one of the local nonprofits that will help provide coverage.
FamiliesUSA, a nonprofit for health-care consumers, estimates some 932,000 Coloradans under age 65 have pre-existing conditions, but it is unclear how many have been denied coverage on the individual insurance market, reports the Denver Business Journal. Premiums under the new plan will range from $115 to $601 a month for nonsmokers with a $2,500 deductible and co-payments of $30 for primary-care physicians and $45 for specialist visits.