If you have a pre-existing condition and your health insurance premiums have skyrocketed lately, you may be wondering why not drop your health insurance and join a pre-existing condition health insurance pool (PCIP)? After all, the PCIPs are limited in what they can charge for health insurance premiums and cap out their out-of-pocket costs at $5,950. That sounds like an awfully good deal if your health insurance premiums have jumped into the thousands of dollars per month.
What’s the catch? Well, if you already have health insurance, you can only qualify for a PCIP if you give up that health insurance for six full months which can be a dicey proposition if you have a pre-existing medical condition which needs constant care. A medical emergency during that six month period can spell absolute financial disaster.
Michele Rappaport and her husband, Alan Sorkowitz, said they watched the monthly premiums for their health insurance policy jump from $1,700 to nearly $2,500 in just one year. The Tucson, Ariz., couple started to wonder if they’d be better off stuffing that money in the bank.
In January, they saw a golden opportunity to drop the expensive policy in favor of a new, more affordable federal program for people with preexisting conditions. Their premiums will be less than half as expensive, and their out-of-pocket costs will be capped.
The only problem is that in order to qualify, they need to be uninsured for at least six months. Rappaport and Sorkowitz, both 57, say that despite being generally healthy, they feel they are making a big bet that they can avoid catastrophic illness or injury until July.
“I was literally crying on the phone,” Rappaport said, describing the moment she and her husband called Cigna to ditch their plan. “It was the most frightening thing we’ve ever done.”
Have you thought about dropping your health insurance for a PCIP? Tell us about it!
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