Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan saves lives

The new health care law’s Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) program is providing insurance to 50,000 people with pre-existing conditions. According to a new report, PCIP is helping to fill a void in the insurance market for people with pre-existing conditions who are denied health coverage.

“For too long, Americans with pre-existing conditions were locked out of the health care system and their health suffered,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Thanks to health reform, our most vulnerable Americans across the country have the care they need.”

Under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, in 2014, insurers will be prohibited from denying coverage to any American with a pre-existing condition. Until then, the PCIP program will provide affordable insurance coverage.

PCIP is helping individuals like:

Gail O’Brien of New Hampshire who is now getting help with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatments and is responding very well. Or James Howard of Texas, who is grateful for the coverage the PCIP program is providing to treat cancer and says that without it, he would not have been able to continue receiving care.

In many cases, PCIP participants have been diagnosed with serious health care conditions such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, heart disease, bone diseases and hemophilia. Under the new law, PCIP enrollees are receiving health services for their conditions on the first day their insurance coverage begins.

People who enroll in the PCIP program are not charged a higher premium because of their medical condition. Program participants pay comparable premium rates to healthy people. By law, premiums may vary only on the basis of age, geographic area and tobacco use.

PCIP provides coverage, including primary and specialty care, hospital care, prescription drugs, home health and hospice care, nursing care, preventive health and maternity care. The program is available to U.S. citizens and legal residents (regardless of income) who have been without insurance coverage for at least six months, and have a pre-existing condition, or have been denied insurance coverage because of a health condition.

For more information, including eligibility, plan benefits and rates, as well as information on how to apply, visit www.pcip.gov. Or call toll-free 1-866-717-5826 (TTY 1-866-561-1604).

Courtesy of Healthy Living News

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