if you have been denied coverage or are paying a higher rate due to a Pre-existing Condition you can get into a Pre-existing Condition Insurance Pool (PCIP). That hyperlink will take you to healthcare.gov where you can learn how to get into a PCIP in your area.
According to a new analysis by the Department of Health and Human Services, 50 to 129 million (19 to 50 percent of) non-elderly Americans have some type of pre-existing health condition. Up to one in five non-elderly Americans with a pre-existing condition – 25 million individuals – is uninsured. Under the Affordable Care Act, starting in 2014, these Americans cannot be denied coverage, be charged significantly higher premiums, be subjected to an extended waiting period, or have their benefits curtailed by insurance companies.
Health Reform Ends Discrimination Based on Pre-Existing Conditions – Without It, Insurers Would Be Back in Charge
A central element of the Affordable Care Act, passed by the last Congress and signed into law by the President, is a new set of patient protections that prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage to Americans because they need it. Starting in 2014:
- Insurers can no longer use health status to determine eligibility, benefits, or premiums;
- Individuals and small businesses can choose from a range of private insurance plans through competitive marketplaces called Exchanges in their States; and
- Annual dollar limits on coverage will be banned in group and new individual market plans, critical benefits will be covered, and out-of-pocket spending will be limited.
These new protections add to a strong set that have already been put in place to increase access to health care coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions such as:
- Insurers can no longer limit lifetime coverage to a fixed dollar amount;
- Insurers can no longer take away your coverage because of a mistake on an application;
- Insurers can no longer deny coverage to a child because of a pre-existing condition;
- Thousands of uninsured people with pre-existing conditions have enrolled in the temporary high-risk pool program called the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan, which has literally saved people’s lives by covering services like chemotherapy.
Rescinding the new health insurance protections would, now and starting in 2014:
- Reduce the health care and health insurance options of the 50 to 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions;
- Take away, for the 32 to 82 million people with both a pre-existing condition and job-based insurance, the ban on lifetime limits on benefits, restrictions on annual limits on benefits, new protections in the small group market from discrimination based on health status, and the security of knowing you can change jobs without losing your health coverage and care;
- Lock older Americans into their current coverage if they have it, since up to 86 percent of people ages 55 to 64 have some type of pre-existing condition;
- Limit insurance options for the parents of the up to 2 million uninsured children with pre-existing conditions, who today can no longer be blocked from purchasing individual market insurance due to their pre-existing condition.