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The Changing Health Care Landscape: Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans and Affordable Insurance Exchanges

Under the Affordable Care Act passed in March 2010, a new program was launched to provide health care for individuals who were previously denied coverage due to a pre-existing health condition.  Known as The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, or PCIP, this program is available to all U.S. citizens and legal residents who have been without coverage for at least six months.

PCIP does not cost you more because of your medical condition, and it doesn’t have an income eligibility component like Medicaid.  You will be responsible for a monthly premium, deductible, and co-pays just like you would under other health plans.  To keep costs low, it is best to stick with in-network providers.  South Carolina residents can find more information about their PCIP options by visiting Healthcare.gov.  The federally-administered PCIP has three plan options, each with different premiums, deductibles and co-pays.  The PCIP Benefits Summary is a comprehensive comparison of the options that can help you decide which one is best suited for you or your family’s needs.

The Affordable Care Act also called for the creation of a new, competitive insurance marketplace called an Exchange.  In 2014, Affordable Insurance Exchanges will make getting insurance easier and more affordable.  Whether you are a small business looking to provide coverage to your employees, or an individual or family in need of health insurance, these Exchanges are designed to be transparent to make plan comparison and finding answers to questions about eligibility and options easier.  Navigating the world of health insurance has always been tricky, but the changes on the horizon should remove some of the complexity from the system.