From the National Health Law Program (NHELP)
This week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that premiums for the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) will drop as much as 40 percent in 18 states, and eligibility standards will be eased in 23 states and D.C., beginning July 1, 2011.
Along with the reduction of premiums, as of July, individuals applying for coverage can simply provide a letter from a doctor, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner dated within the past 12 months stating that they have a medical condition, disability or illness. This means that applicants will no longer have to provide a denial letter from an insurance company.
These changes apply to states where the PCIP program is federally administered. HHS sent letters to the 27 states that operate their own PCIP programs informing them of the opportunity to modify their current PCIP premiums.
To find out if the PCIP program in your state is federally administered or state-run, see: https://www.pcip.gov/StatePlans.html. For a list of the new premium rates in the states where PCIP is federally administered see: https://webaccounts.geha.com/public/pcip/rates/index.asp.
For a copy of HHS’ Press Release regarding this announcement, see: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2011pres/05/20110531b.html.