“For too long, Americans with pre-existing conditions have been locked out” said U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius. “The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan gives them a new option – the same insurance coverage as a healthy individual.”
The PCIP provides an opportunity for African Americans, many of whom have been denied, or could not afford, health insurance because of HIV, diabetes, cancer, or other once exclusionary conditions.
“African Americans," according to Health and Human Services spokesperson, Jessica Santillo, "face high rates of diseases such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS – 15 percent of African Americans suffer from diabetes and African Americans experience new HIV infections at seven times the rate of whites. African Americans who have been denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition such as HIV, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. will now have another option for more affordable coverage. Eligible individuals will now be offered comprehensive coverage for a premium amount based on that available to individuals in their State of average health.”
Federally funded at $5 billion, PCIP is slated to provide a broad range of health coverage including primary and specialty care, hospital care, and prescription drugs. Once enrolled coverage begins immediately and will provide limitless health insurance coverage, low deductibles and low co-payments, at least in theory.
Early enrollment is being encouraged, however, as PCIP's popularity may be substantial and there is concern that there may not be enough funding to meet the pent-up demand. By enrolling early you can ensure that you won't be put on a waiting list. The federal government, or states, will administer PCIP so enrollment costs and eligibility requirements may vary from state to state.
PCIP will run until 2014 when it will be replaced by more affordable insurance exchanges from which even members of congress will have to purchase their insurance. In the meantime, the AIDS Drug Assistance and Ryan White programs will remain in place, that is for as long as they are funded.
If you are in need of health insurance coverage due to a pre-existing condition visit http://www.healthcare.gov/ As enrollment may require proof of a pre-existing condition contact your care provider to collect those records.
No-cost Health Tests for New Coverage
Beginning September 23rd, insurers will no longer be able to charge co-payments and deductibles for standard diagnostic tests, screenings and preventative procedures on new health insurance policies.
As part of the Obama Administration emphasis on disease prevention and early diagnosis, First Lady Michelle Obama described the tests as important tools in preventing chronic illnesses.
Studies have shown that health insurance cost-sharing discourages policy holders from getting tests and preventive services. For example, 70 million Americans have insurance that does not adequately cover vaccinations. By eliminating the costs for new policy holders the administration believes millions more will get vaccinated and seek out earlier screenings for hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, and cancer.