Federal Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan reduces premiums.by Denise Early on Jun. 01, 2011, under Health
One of the many pieces of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare to some), was the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) which is available to people who have been denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition. An additional condition for participating in the PCIP is that people must have been without health insurance coverage for six months.
It was expected that several hundred thousand Americans would enroll in this plan, which is supposed to serve as a stop gap until everybody has access to health insurance in 2014. But to date, only 18,000 Americans have enrolled in the plan, much to the surprise of the experts who know there are millions of uninsured Americans across the country.
To make the PCIP more attractive, the Department of Health and Human Services has reduced PCIP premiums by 40%. Arizona rates went from $550 to $334 for the standard option for people over 55. A 40 year old can now get coverage for $188 per month.
Three different coverage options are available through the PCIP: Standard, Extended, and HSA (health savings account). The plans come with different premiums and different deductibles – but it is good health insurance.
The state of Arizona declined to administer a PCIP for Arizonans, so people in our state need to apply through a federally-administered PCIP. I do not know what the doctor and hospital network is for the PCIP in Arizona.
Lowering the premiums for the PCIP should make it affordable for more people. The next move should be to waive the six month rule, and then they’d get plenty of enrollments. I have spoken to people paying outrageous premiums for their individual insurance, but they are afraid to drop it, apply for and get denied new health insurance, and then go without coverage for six months so they could qualify for the PCIP.
The website for the Pre-Existing Insurance Plan is http://www.healthcare.gov/law/provisions/preexisting/index.html