The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced changes to an insurance program setup for those with pre-existing conditions as part of the Affordable Care Act last week. The goal of the policy move is to make these insurance plans, setup specially for those who have been denied coverage for a pre-existing condition in the past, to be more affordable and accessible to the general public.
Currently, a person with a pre-existing condition must have gone without insurance for atleast six months and show proof that they have been denied by a private insurance company for their condition. Last weeks announcement removes the burden of proof on a patient having been denied from another company and drastically reduces costs for the plans by up to 40%, but leaves in place the six month waiting period.
Expected by some to have as many as 300,000 enrollee’s by 2013, there have been just 18,000 people signup to date for the “Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan” (PCIP). The move last week will cut costs in 18 of the 23 states that have federally administered plans.
With many private insurance companies treating those with artificial limbs as “pre-existing conditions”, or setting arbitrary coverage caps, these “Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans” could prove attractive with the cost and admission criteria now eased. More information can be found at www.pcip.gov