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Michigan Releases New High Risk Pool Health Plans

In a previous post, we provided a State-by-State Guide to PCIP (Federal Health Insurance Risk Pool), which included the Michigan high-risk pool, HIP Michigan.  Today, HIP Michigan announced two new health plans that will be made available to qualifying Michigan residents beginning May 1, 2011.
 HIP Michigan
The new health plans provide the same level of coverage as the current plan option offered, but with lower premiums and higher deductible choices.  Previously, the only plan available to qualifying Michigan residents consisted of a $1,000 deductible and ranged from $171.65 to $563.27/month, depending on age. The new plans add choices in deductible amounts ($2,500 and $3,500) and range from $103.85 to $340.78/month, depending on age.
 
The new plans were created in an attempt to address an overall lack of participation in the state's high-risk pool.  When it began accepting applications in September 2010, HIP Michigan placed a cap on the number of enrollees in the high risk pool at 3,500 participants.  To date, there have been 1,000 applicants to the pool, with 245 Michigan residents enrolled.

Will these new, lower-premium, higher-deductible health plans result in an increase in participation in the Michigan high-risk pool? Or, is the poor participation due to strict eligibility requirements and/or general lack of awareness? 
 
Note: None of this should be taken as legal or tax advice.
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