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Pre-existing condition insurance rates drop by 37.5 percent in Nevada

By ThisIsReno

By Sean Whaley, Nevada News Bureau: Insurance Commissioner Brett Barratt said today that rates for the high risk pool in the federal Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) for Nevada have been reduced by 37.5 percent by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services starting July 1.

“This is great news for the thousands of uninsured Nevadans eligible for the PCIP,” Barratt said. “These rate decreases make PCIP more affordable and comparable to the commercial market for individuals.”

The federal Affordable Care Act of 2010 included a provision to create the PCIP as a “bridging” healthcare program to provide pre-existing condition coverage between now and 2014, when insurers will no longer be permitted to decline health coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions. Coverage through this program will be available until January 2014 when more health insurance coverage options will become available through a Health Insurance Exchange.

PCIP delivers health coverage to consumers who have a pre-existing medical condition, have not had insurance for six months, who are legal residents of Nevada and are U.S. citizens. Starting July 1, people 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 or, at any time in the past, had a medical condition, disability, or illness. Applicants will no longer have to wait on an insurance company to send them a denial letter.

PCIP covers doctor visits, hospitalizations, prescription drugs and preventative care services for consumers who have been denied health insurance coverage. There are no income requirements, and the plan does not charge a higher premium because of a pre-existing condition. Coverage for a pre-existing condition takes effect immediately; there is no waiting period.

To increase the effectiveness of the program, beginning this fall, HHS will begin paying agents and brokers for successfully connecting eligible people with the PCIP program. This step will help reach those who are eligible but unenrolled.