The Pennsylvania Department of Insurance will start taking applications for a new "high risk" plan from residents without health insurance and who have pre-existing medical conditions. Department spokeswoman Roseanne Placey says Pennsylvania received $160 million from the federal government as part of the health care law passed this year in order to create this "bridge" program..
"In 2014, health insurance companies will no longer be able to deny you coverage or charge you more if you're sick. But we need more options till we can get to that point, and PA Fair Care, Pennsylvania's high risk plan, will offer some of those options."
Placey says starting Wednesday, August 4 (8:30 a.m.) people can apply online or call 1-888-767-7015.
She says applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. Placey says the program will be able to serve 3,500 people.
To be considered for enrollment, you must be a resident of Pennsylvania; a U.S. citizen or national or lawfully in this country; you have been uninsured for at least 6 months prior to the application; and, you have a pre-existing condition.
Placey says the subsidized premiums are $283.20 a month plus co-pays..."The benefit package is fairly broad. You'll receive preventive care, physician services, diagnostic testing, hospitalization, some mental health services, and what is most important somewhat to people with pre-existing conditions...prescription medications."
Placey says coverage should begin within 4 to 6 weeks after acceptance into the program and receipt of the first month premium check.