Connecticut governor asks HHS to modify federal 'crowd out' rule

The health reform law is preventing Connecticut residents from enrolling in its new pre-existing insurance plan, so Gov. M. Jodi Rell wants HHS to relax the rule.

The state created the Connecticut Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan to comply with a requirement in the health reform law for states to have insurance pools for previously uninsured people with pre-existing conditions. However, coverage began with only five people enrolled. Rell said enrollment could be limited because of the federal "crowd out" rule that requires a person be uninsured for at least six months before joining the plan, according to the Connecticut Mirror.

"Many of our applicants are hitting a stone wall in terms of the absolute, no-exception waiting period required under current federal rules," Rell wrote in a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "Implementation of such a restrictive, no-exception crowd-out/waiting period policy seems to contradict the stated goals of providing access to health insurance for those individuals with pre-existing conditions," she said.

To learn more:
- read the Connecticut Mirror story
- view Rell's letter to HHS