Thanks to national health reform, Texas now has two separate high-risk pools that offer health insurance to Texans who cannot get coverage in the private market due to pre-existing health conditions: the state-administered Texas Health Insurance Pool, established in 1998, and the federally administered Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan created by the new federal health reform law. Because state law in Texas allows health insurers to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions in the individual market (coverage purchased directly from an insurer, as opposed to job-based coverage), many Texans with medical conditions can only get coverage through a high-risk pool. As of January 2014, the new federal health reform law will prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage or increasing premiums based on a person's health status or pre-existing conditions. Until then, high-risk pools will continue to provide a lifeline to tens of thousands of Texas residents who need health insurance.
CPPP has released Something Old, Something New: Texas' Two High-Risk Pools, a policy page that explains both of Texas' high--risk pools-their similarities, differences, and important upcoming changes.
Important Information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services