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MHIP launches federal high-risk health coverage program

Baltimore Business Journal, September 2, 2010

State leaders and health care professionals are launching Wednesday a new federal high-risk health care program that will insure those previously denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

The Maryland Health Insurance Plan currently operates a state-funded high-risk pool program and was chosen by the Maryland Health Care Reform Coordinating Council to carry out the federal program.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 allocates $5 billion nationally for the creation of a new high-risk health plan to be administered by either the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or individual states.

MHIP, which will now be called MHIP Federal, received $85 million of those federal funds and began accepting applications for the new insurance plan through the federal pool in August.

Maryland is one of 30 states that will begin operating a state-based plan for currently uninsured people. Other states’ plans will be operated at the federal level, by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Applicants approved under the eligibility guidelines of the plan will begin receiving health insurance coverage on Wednesday.