Did you know that March 23rd marks the 1-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act being signed into law? Within 365 short days, critical patient protections have been implemented, making health care more affordable and accessible to many Americans.
However, despite the progress that has been made, many patients still don’t know about all of the options that may be available to them to ensure they have the coverage they need. Here are two important programs every heart disease and stroke patient should know about:
Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans: If you or a loved has a pre-existing condition, like heart disease or stroke, and been without health insurance coverage for at least six months, then you may be eligible for a new insurance program, called Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plans, that was created by the Affordable Care Act.
This program is available for children and adults in all 50 states and the District of Columbia who have been locked out of the health insurance market because of a pre-existing condition. However, the exact terms and conditions of the coverage will vary depending on which state you live in.Although these new plans may not be a feasible option for everyone, they could be a more affordable insurance option for individuals who’ve had difficulty getting coverage in the individual insurance market because of their medical condition. In most states, the monthly premium for the standard option plan ranges from about $116 to $626.
These plans are intended to provide transitional coverage to those who are currently uninsured until January 2014, when additional insurance options and assistance with paying premiums will be made available through state-based health insurance marketplaces called exchanges.
For information about how to apply, go to http://www.pcip.gov/ or call 1-866-717-5826 (TTY 1-866-561-1604).
Consumer Assistance Programs: Thirty states have received funding under the Affordable Care Act to create Consumer Assistance Programs (CAPs), which provide assistance to individuals experiencing difficulties with their health insurance. For instance, CAPs will help consumers who need help filing complaints or appeals with their insurance companies, answer questions about their rights and responsibilities with respect to insurance coverage, or help individuals sign up for coverage.
To find the CAP program in your state or other resources that may be helpful, please visit www.healthcare.gov/consumerhelp.