NEWARK, N.J. — New Jersey Gov.
Chris Christie signed a bill Thursday that will allow insurers to sell medical insurance to people with certain pre-existing conditions.
It was the first such legislation signed by a Republican governor since 2010.
The law gives states flexibility to provide coverage for the uninsured if the policyholders can demonstrate they are eligible for Medicaid.
It also allows insurers the ability to charge premiums based on a patient’s income, health status, and medical condition.
“If a policyholder is eligible for a program, we can offer that coverage regardless of income, regardless of health status.
We can also charge the same premium,” Christie said at a signing ceremony.
It’s a small step toward universal health care, which Christie and some other Republicans have long advocated.
But it comes with big risks for the insurance industry, which has already faced criticism for pricing plans based on pre-Existing Condition protections.
More than half of the more than 12 million people in the country have a pre-condition, according to the American Academy of Actuaries.
That means that more than 6 million people currently have pre-conditions and more than 200,000 of them are uninsured, according the group.
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