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Informing Policy. Advancing Health.

Colorado's High-Risk Pool

This issue brief looks at Colorado’s high-risk pool, describing the eligibility, funding mechanisms and federal assistance for individuals underwritten out of the individual insurance market.
Date last upated: November 1, 2006

In the individual market, many Coloradans lack access to health insurance because of a pre-existing medical condition. Carriers either reject these individuals outright or offer a limited set of benefits at premium rates that are unaffordable to all but a few. As a result, these individuals are deemed “uninsurable” in the individual health insurance market and make up an important segment of Colorado’s 768,000 uninsured residents.

Thirty-three states, including Colorado, operate a high-risk pool for individuals underwritten out of the individual insurance market.

Nationwide, approximately 180,000 people participate in high-risk pools. Enrollment ranges from almost 33,000 in Minnesota to just over 100 people in Iowa, with roughly 5,000 enrollees in Colorado’s high-risk pool, CoverColorado.

This report includes a table highlighting certain elements and financing mechanisms of high-risk pools for select states compared to Colorado.