Healthcare Reform now available for LA & TX residents

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Louisiana residents who have been shut out of the individual insurance market because of their medical history can start applying for policies in a federal high-risk pool.

That's part of the health insurance overhaul pushed by President Barack Obama. The Obama administration says the high-risk coverage should begin sometime this summer.

Gov. Bobby Jindal opted out of running a state high-risk pool under the health revamp, instead leaving the federal government in charge of administering the health care plans for Louisiana residents with pre-existing medical conditions who can't buy insurance on the open market.

20 other states join Louisiana in the federal pool.The plan is a temporary measure.

By 2014, insurance carriers will be barred from discriminating against applicants because of their medical history.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)