As most everyone knows, President Obama introduced legislation to Congress in early 2010, hoping to restructure how health insurance is run in this country; and after modification it passed in March of 2010 and one part of it went into effect on July 1, 2010. What everyone doesn’t know, or doesn’t know much about, is the portion of the law that applies to people with pre-existing medical conditions that have up to now kept them from being able to get health care insurance.
In short, what the legislation did was make it so that anyone in the country who is a U.S. citizen, and who has been uninsured for at least six months and can demonstrate that they have been unable to get health insurance due to a pre-existing condition, can now get health insurance so long as they are able to pay the premiums.
The program is called the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) and is administered the by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The way it works is that DHHS itself runs the program in an individual state or the state runs it by itself. Either way, the same rules apply. No one is to be denied health insurance based solely on a pre-existing condition.
In Indiana, the program is run by DHHS and in order to apply, people who believe they qualify need only go to Indiana.gov and fill out the application. It should be noted however that the insurance offered is not done so through DHHS, it is merely the means by which the program is run. Individuals who sign up for the program will still be covered by a traditional nationwide insurance carrier. They should also know however that just because the federal government is running the program, that doesn’t mean that the insurance is inexpensive or free. It’s actually neither. For Indiana, rates are charged depending on age, they are, per month:
Ages 0-34: $310
Ages 35-44: $372
Ages 45-54: $ 476
Ages 55+: $662
For those individuals who cannot afford these premiums, assistance is available through application via the Healthy Indiana plan.
The insurance an individual will get will be by law, indistinguishable from other insurance plans the person would get were he or she to not have the pre-existing condition, which means it will cover medical costs both at a doctor’s office and in a hospital, and it will also cover prescriptions as well for both old and new medical problems.