A Senate committee voted unanimously Wednesday to reauthorize federal support for state high-risk health insurance pools.[@@]
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee voted 21-0 to send a substitute version of S. 2283 to the Senate floor.
The current version of the bill authorizes $15 million in seed funding for fiscal years 2004 and 2005 for states starting new risk pools.
The current version also authorizes $75 million in funding for fiscal years 2005 through 2009 to help existing pools improve benefits and cope with operating losses. The old authorization level was $40 million.
The government would distribute the operating loss grants by giving eligible states equal shares of 50% of the funding, allocating 25% based on each eligible state’s risk pool enrollment and allocating 25% based on the proportion of uninsured individuals living in each eligible state, according to a summary of the current version of S. 2283.