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Pre-existing Condition? Step Right Up.
Do you know someone with a pre-existing condition (such as cancer, mental illness, heart disease, diabetes, or other disabling condition) who has had trouble finding affordable health insurance? Two new provisions of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) are taking effect that will finally give them some options. As of October 1st, children with pre-existing conditions can be covered on their parents’ insurance policies.
As of July 1st, there is a new program for adults called the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP). Available in all 50 states, this new plan covers adults with pre-existing conditions, regardless of income, who have been uninsured for at least six months. There’s no waiting period for the coverage, and the premiums are regulated and can’t be any higher than the premiums paid for individual insurance plans by healthy adults. The plan will be in effect until 2014, when all insurance policies will be required to cover adults with pre-existing conditions. Thirty states are running their own plans. However, the Florida plan is being run by the federal government and you can apply on-line.
To apply, visit www.pcip.gov, and under the “Find your State” tab, click on Florida on the map for information about premiums and benefits. Then click on “apply” and this will take you directly to the application site. You can complete the application online, by phone, or print it out and mail it in. There is no charge to apply and the site warns people not to fall victim to scam artists offering to “help” for a fee. For more information, please contact the Mental Health Association of Palm Beach County or go to our web site at www.mhapbc.org