States That Offer High Risk Health Insurance

The United States government passed federal legislation in March 2010 requiring every state to offer high-risk insurance to individuals with pre-existing medical conditions. States could either run their own programs or allow the federal government to run a program for them. As of October 2010, 27 states participate in the federal program, while 23 states and the District of Columbia run their own programs.

State-Run Programs

As of 2010, 23 states run their own high-risk health insurance programs for people who are denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, according to PBS News. These states may set their own criteria for qualification. Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming have opted into this program. The District of Columbia is also enrolled in this program.

Federally-Run Programs

Twenty-seven states have chosen to allow the federal government to run high-risk health insurance plans in their state. The Federal Department of Health and Human Services hires administrators to run programs in these states. The states that are participating in this program as of October 2010 are Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Washington State. Federal assistance will last until 2014, when new laws take effect barring insurance companies from denying coverage to people who have pre-existing insurance.

Why States Opted Out

Some states chose not to participate in the federal program because state officials were worried about the program running out of money, according to PBS News. States that do not participate in this program are free to charge high premiums for high-risk insurance, if they wish. However, some eligible people are unable to afford the cost of high-risk health insurance in these states.