Imposition of Durational Residency Requirements by State High-Risk Pools: Constitutional Considerations

Lucia, Kevin; Addy, Susanne
December 2006
Journal of Insurance Regulation;Winter2006, Vol. 25 Issue 2, p29
Academic Journal
Currently, 32 states maintain high-risk pools offering individual health insurance to residents that are otherwise medically uninsurable in the private health insurance market. In many of these states, applicants are required to have resided in the state for a specific period of time, called a "durational residency requirement," before they can apply for coverage. After reviewing how many states impose a durational residency requirement on new applicants and why, this article discusses the constitutionality of these requirements in light of the 14th Amendment right to travel as interpreted by relevant U.S. Supreme Court rulings. Ultimately, the authors conclude that durational residency requirements currently found in 21 high-risk pools statutes are, at the very least "constitutionally suspect" and do not reflect a "compelling state interest" that would pass constitutional muster and thus rescue them from this status. State legislatures should, therefore, reconsider the imposition of these requirements directed solely at their new residents.


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