AP - November 05, 2009
In addition to a six-month wait to qualify for the health insurance program, there's a more fundamental issue -- whether $5 billion set aside for the three-year program is enough.
WASHINGTON - You're afraid your cancer is back, and a health insurance company just turned you down.
Under the health care bills in Congress, you could apply for coverage through a new high-risk pool that President Barack Obama promises would immediately start serving patients with pre-existing medical problems.
Wait a second. Read the fine print. You may have to be uninsured for six months to qualify.
"If you are a cancer patient and have cancer now, you can't wait six months to go into a plan because your condition can go from bad to death," said Stephen Finan, a policy expert with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. He called the waiting period in the Senate bill "unacceptable."
Advocates for people with serious health problems, as well as some insurance experts, are raising questions about one of the most important upfront benefits in the Democratic health care legislation: a high-risk pool for the medically uninsurable.