Question: I'm in the California high risk pool because of preexisting. conditions. Can I switch to the federal plan when it comes out?
Answer: You won't be eligible for the federally-funded risk pool even though the coverage will be better than what you currently receive and less expensive than what you currently pay. Because only individuals who have gone at least six months without health insurance coverage are eligible for the federally subsidized high-risk coverage. So unless you're willing to drop your current coverage for six months you are locked in to your current coverage until 2014. This "Catch 22" situation exists because there's only so much money -$5 Bil - to fund the coverage of an additional 350,000 uninsured people with conditions that make them uninsurable in the current market and can afford to pay for this coverage. If the 200, 000 people currently in existing state risk pools were to move into the new risk pool the money would be half gone right off the bat.