Those that have preexisting conditions won’t have to worry too much longer about not being eligible for health insurance thanks to a new plan put into effect by the Department of Health and Human Services and the government. This new plan will provide insurance to millions that are currently uninsured, and is just one of many changes that are to come with President Obama’s new health care reform. In addition to this, premiums will also be lowered up to 40 percent in some areas.
The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan
This plan, called the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, creates affordable health care for those that were denied coverage previously for six months due to being diagnosed with conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. This plan was put into action during the summer of 2010 as one of the first parts of the new health care reform that was put into effect by President Barack Obama in March of the same year.
Spreading the Good News About PCIP
So far, less than twenty-thousand Americans have signed up for the PCIP, yet officials still remain optimistic that this program will help hundreds of thousands of people before it is phased out. The new program has not been advertised very much, and it is said that insurance brokers will get a bonus for clients that they refer to this program. The program is said to be phased out in 2014, at which time it will no longer be legal for insurance companies to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.
To help spread the word about the new service, monthly premiums in states in which the program is run by Health and Human Services will be lowered significantly starting in July of 2011. While the amount varies, it could be as much as forty percent in states like Florida and Alabama. In Virginia, those that enroll over the age of 55 will only have to pay $297 a month, instead of the previous $498. Another benefit is, in order to qualify; all they will need is a note from a doctor, instead of the formerly required rejection letters from other insurance companies.
While a decrease in premiums has yet to be determined in states in which the federal government is overseeing the program, the HHS has stated that they will issue a letter to these other states encouraging them to offer a similar decrease in premium rates as the HHS has. It has not been confirmed whether or not these letters have been sent out yet, nor when they are due to arrive.
Millions Seen to Benefit From PCIP
At last count, there are over 250 million people who are not covered by insurance carriers due to pre-existing conditions. Some people feel that the 6 month insurance-free requirement is a little harsh, especially to those whose medical needs are crucial. Unfortunately this condition cannot be overturned or changed, since it is written into the statute. While this may discourage some people from participating, many others will agree that some sort of waiting period is better than not having any coverage at all.