The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, which will make it more affordable and easier for individuals who have been denied health insurance in the past, due to a pre-existing condition, to get coverage.
This plan comes out of the health care makeover that President Obama signed into existence last year. Created as a temporary protection, the insurance plan will help sick Americans until insurance companies lose the right to deny sick applicants in 2014.
The plan will also address the issue of high priced insurance premiums. The Obama administration will be cutting premium costs in the District of Columbia as well as 23 states that have agreed to let the federal government run their health programs. The other 27 states will still be able to lower their premiums, though they have chosen to continue to run their plans themselves.
For patients, the new plan also means no more having to produce a letter of insurance denial to get coverage; applicants simply have to get a note from their health care provider stating that they do already have a medical condition and that they haven’t had insurance in the last six months.
“The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan changes lives, and in many cases, literally saves lives,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a statement. “These changes will decrease costs and help insure more Americans.”
To find a chart showing changes to PCIP premiums in states with federally administered PCIP programs, visit www.HealthCare.gov/news/factsheets/pcip05312011a.html.
For more information, including eligibility, plan benefits and rates, as well as information on how to apply, visit www.pcip.gov and click on “Find Your State.” Then select your State from a map of the United States or from the drop-down menu. The PCIP Call Center is open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time. Call toll-free 1-866-717-5826 (TTY 1-866-561-1604).
(Photo: Jim Young/Reuters)