The Supreme Court may concentrating on the individual health insurance mandate when it delivers its decision on the Affordable Care Act, but 60,000 Americans are waiting to find out whether another part of the Affordable Care Act will survive the challenge, the The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans (PCIPs):
Texan Sam Lovett had no health insurance in August 2010 when an emergency hospital stay brought the news from his doctors that his liver was failing and he could die within less than a year without a transplant.
The small distribution center where he worked did not provide health insurance. Lovett, 43, who lives near Comfort, Texas, was not able to buy private coverage on his own because of his already bad health. Though he had the resources to cover routine medical bills, he now needed a $400,000 organ transplant and no doctor or clinic would take him without insurance.
“They were making arrangements to send me to a hospice. One doctor flatly told me that I had a better chance of leaving the hospital dead than alive,” said Lovett, who had a history of alcoholism and obesity.
But in the months that followed, Lovett was able to enroll in the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP). The program was created by the healthcare law that President Barack Obama, a Democrat, signed in March 2010 despite the united opposition of Republicans in Congress. The program paid for Lovett’s transplant surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix last December.
The PCIPs 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.
PCIPs are enrolling members on a first-come, first-served basis, so if you are at all interested in applying for a PCIP, we advise you to apply even if you are unsure if you qualify. More information on all of the state PCIPs is available at HealthCare.gov.
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