With everyone talking about the controversial results of the Department of Health and Human Services’study on Americans with pre-existing conditions, we think it’s ironic that the State of Illinois has just launched a new program to help residents with pre-existing conditions get the affordable (or perhaps, more realistically, less unaffordable) health insurance that they need. The new program is part of Illinois’ Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) IPXP, and offers comprehensive health insurance with a $1,000 deductible to residents who have a pre-existing condition and have been uninsured for at least six months. IPXP currently only offers a health insurance plan with a $2,000 deductible.
Unfortunately, even though many have criticized the new PCIPs for their high health insurance premiums which make them unaffordable for many, the new lower-deductible health insurance options carries even higher premiums than the current higher-deductible option. Health insurance premiums vary by age and address, but for example, a 45-year-old Chicago resident who doesn’t smoke would pay $323 a month compared with $280 a month for the $2,000 deductible plan.
The PCIPswere designed to provide affordable health insurance benefits to Americans with pre-existing conditions and will continue until 2014, when health insurance must be offered to all Americans regardless of pre-existing conditions. The PCIPsare an attractive health insurance option because they 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.
Unfortunately, that does not mean that the PCIPs are affordable as health insurance to most Americans with pre-existing conditions. With PCIP health insurance premiums often running between $400 and $600 dollars a month, the plans are simply out of reach for many Americans. In addition, the deductible for prescription drug coverage in states where the PCIP is run by the federal government is a steep $2,500.
For more information on the Illinois PCIPs, visit the the Illinois IPXP website.
Have you applied to one of the PCIPs? Tell us about it!
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- 1 in 7 Denied Health Insurance based on Pre-Existing Conditions
- Do As Many As Half Of Americans Have Pre-Existing Conditions? Government Study Says, Yes.
- Healthcare Reform: Pre-existing Conditions and the Federal Health Insurance Pool
- Enrollment Trickles Into the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans (PCIPs), Are the Health Insurance Premiums Too High?