If you’re a Californian with a pre-existing conditions and no health insurance, its finally good news. It’s taken a while (to say the least!), but California has finally gotten its act together and opened its Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) for coverage. The California PCIP website is up and offers information, applications, and health insurance premium information for anyone interested in applying to the new PCIP.
The interim high-risk health insurance pools are a temporary measure which will continue until 2014, when health insurance must be offered to all Americans regardless of pre-existing conditions. Currently, Americans with pre-existing conditions are often denied health insurance coverage or are only offered health insurance which is prohibitively expensive. Governor Schwarzenegger announced in April that California will run its own interim high-risk health insurance pool, instead of depending on the federal government to run one. California will receive $761 million to operate its interim high-risk health insurance pool.
The interim high-risk health insurance pools available to Americans who have been without health insurance for six months or more, and is designed to provide affordable health insurance benefits to those with pre-existing conditions. The interim health insurance pools are limited to charging standard individual health insurance rates in the region, cap out-of-pocket expenses for members, and will provide immediate coverage for members’ pre-existing conditions instead of requiring a waiting period.
A self-employed marketing consultant and tech writer, Rosenberg has a chronic nonlife-threatening condition that he says is under control with inexpensive drugs. In 2001, he was paying $570 a month for health insurance for himself, his wife and his two daughters.
He knew he would pay more when he turned 55 in September, but he didn’t expect the PacifiCare premium to go up to $2,391 a month for himself and his wife.
“That translates to a 400 percent increase in costs in 10 years, with just two on the plan now instead of four,” he said. “Even worse, we still pay 30 percent of all medical costs.”
He tried to switch to a PacifiCare plan with a higher deductible and a lower cost, but was denied. That’s when he called an insurance broker to see if he had options.
If you are at all interested in applying for the PCIP, WE STRONGLY ADVISE YOU TO APPLY EARLY. In addition to strong early demand for California’s interim PCIP, there is widespread speculation that the money budgeted will not be sufficient to cover all the potential applicants between now and 2014. If you are interested in any of the inteirm high-risk health insurance pools (not just California’s), we advise you to apply now before pools are forced to start waiting lists.
More information on all of the state PCIPs is available at HealthCare.gov.
Are you planning on applying to California’s new interim high-risk health insurance pool? Tell us about it!
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