Provisions of New Health Reform Law Provide Temporary Coverage to Americans Lacking Insurance Due to Pre-Existing Conditions
Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) announced the establishment, this week, of a new Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) that will offer coverage to uninsured Americans who have been unable to obtain health coverage because of a pre-existing health condition. The PCIP, which will be administered either by a state or by the Department of Health and Human Services, will provide a new health coverage option for Americans who have been uninsured for at least six months, and have been unable to get health coverage because of a health condition
"For too long, Americans with pre-existing conditions have been locked out of our health insurance market," said Rep. Baca. "The new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan finally gives them the same insurance coverage as a healthy individual. This fiscally and morally responsible program will provide people the help they need as the nation transitions to a more competitive and fair market place in 2014."
Created under the Affordable Care Act, the PCIP is a transitional program until 2014, when insurers will be banned from discriminating against adults with pre-existing conditions, and individuals and small businesses will have access to more affordable private insurance choices through new competitive Exchanges. In 2014, Members of Congress will also purchase their insurance through Exchanges.
The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan will cover a broad range of health benefits, including primary and specialty care, hospital care, and prescription drugs. The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan does not base eligibility on income and does not charge a higher premium because of a medical condition. Participants will pay a premium that is not more than the standard individual health insurance premium in their state for insurance that covers major medical and prescription drug expenses with some cost-sharing.
"Ending the practice of denying coverage for pre-existing conditions is a huge victory for the American people," concluded Rep. Baca. "These new insurance plans create a more equitable health care system for all Americans. As the rest of the provisions of health insurance reform are responsibly enacted, rest assured Congress and the Obama administration will keep a watchful eye to ensure the interests of the American public, and not the insurance companies, are best served."
Information on how to apply for the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan is available at www.HealthCare.gov. Americans who live in a state where the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is running the Pre-Existing Condition Plan will be linked directly to the federal application page. Those living in states running their own programs will also find information on how and where to apply on www.HealthCare.gov.