Maddy, we like Wisconsin and have lived both in Wisconsin and Minnesota. I won't retire in Wisconsin because the risk pool is too expensive there. Minnesota's charges are much cheaper. Plus, Wisconsin makes it harder to get coverage when you are out of the state. Minnesota doesn't.
Also, the GAO's figures are misleading. There are insurance companies that will cover people even if they have health problems but will have exclusions for that specific problem.
kwk, health insurance is so state specific that it is hard to provide you helpful information. You have the most rights when going off of a group plan. If a state has a risk pool, this is the time you can get into that pool with no preexisting condition waiting period. Other states don't have risk pools but give you certain rights to move into an individual plan. Sometimes the states don't regulate the rates the insurers can charge, so the plan may not be affordable. Other states regulate rates or don't allow insurance companies to consider your preexisiting conditions.
A good guide we mention here frequently is Georgetown University's guide at www.healthinsuranceinfo.net
. It doens't talk prices though. If you have questions about a specific state ask away.