People with health problems, who are most in need of health insurance, are the people most likely to be unable to purchase health insurance at any price. To make health insurance affordable and available to those consumers, the legislature created the Texas Health Insurance Risk Pool. The Pool provides health insurance to those consumers unable to obtain it directly from insurers. Although these consumers already pay substantially higher than standard rates, the Pool sought to increase the rates 10% in February, 1999. The Commissioner refused to approve the request—but not because it was too high—he refused to approve it because it was not high enough! CEJ got involved and brought this injustice to the public’s attention. All the major Texas newspapers and the Wall Street Journal covered the story and CEJ’s work on the issue. Although the Commissioner ultimately approved a 20% increase, the public attention CEJ brought to this issue has initiated legislative interest in reducing those rates.
Please read a letter to the editor from D.J. Powers concerning this issue.
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