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New Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan

This article was written by in Insurance. 12 comments.


Historically, it’s been difficult, if not impossible, for Americans with medical problems to acquire affordable health insurance. That changed yesterday with the rollout of another piece of this year’s Affordable Care Act, the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP). As of July 1, 2010, adult citizens or legal residents who have been without insurance for six months, and who have been denied insurance because of a pre-existing condition, are eligible to buy into a state-run plan. (Read the full eligibility requirements.) Or if their state opted not to have a plan for these circumstances, there’s a national plan than can take its place.

According to healthcare.gov, the plan:

  • Will cover a broad range of health benefits, including primary and specialty care, hospital care, and prescription drugs. All covered benefits are available to you, even to treat a pre-existing condition.
  • Won’t charge you a higher premium just because of your medical condition.
  • Doesn’t base eligibility on income.

Exact benefits and premiums will vary by state (pick your state and learn more), and coverage won’t be effective until August 1st, but you can apply today.

These plans will go away in 2014, when it will become illegal for private insurance companies to discriminate against adults with pre-existing conditions.

In addition to the PCIP website dedicated to this plan, there is also a wealth of easy-to-understand and useful resources at the new healthcare.gov, including an informative timeline of how the law affects health care, and on which dates.

Updated February 21, 2012 and originally published July 2, 2010. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Smithee formerly lived primarily on credit cards and the good will of his friends. He is a newbie to personal finance but quickly learning from his past mistakes. You can follow him on Twitter, where his user name is @SmitheeConsumer. View all articles by .

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar annk

Not so fast: http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/106887-health-law-risks-turning-away-sick

The Obama administration has not ruled out turning sick people away from an insurance program created by the new healthcare law to provide coverage for the uninsured.

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avatar Jenna

Any information about what states are opting out?

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avatar megscole64

I’m sorry, but it’s just not possible for our country to afford to insure people who are “uninsurable”. I don’t qualify for some insurance (including life) and that’s just life. I don’t expect my neighbors to pay for my insurance!

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avatar Cash6115

Meg, very nice of you to release your neighbors from the burden of saving your life, but that puts you in a distinct minority. While you don’t want them to formally pay for your insurance, they are already paying informally since emergency rooms cannot turn away paitents. The uninsured walk in without the ability to pay so the hospital jacks up the price of other services, leading to increased insurance costs. The ACA puts these costs up front and makes it easier for preventative treatment. The whole thing is a bet that money can be saved by sharing the burden up front rather than passing the uninsured’s bills around through the complex split of hospitals upping other procedures and the self-insured marker picking up the rest.

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