Health Insurance Quotes
Ask the Health Insurance Expert
I lost my job and have been uninsured for almost two years. I've been denied individual health insurance by several companies--I have GERD. I go to school and work part-time. Where can I turn for coverage?
Have you checked whether your school offers a health insurance plan for students? Many colleges offer access to relatively affordable health insurance plans.
You can also check whether you're eligible for Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for certain groups of low-income people. Eligibility standards vary by state, so contact your local Medicaid office to see if you are eligible. A list of links to state Medicaid websites is available through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Another option is the federally funded Pre-Existing Insurance Plan (PCIP), a new program established under health care reform for people who can't qualify for affordable health insurance in the private market because they have a pre-existing condition.
To qualify, you must have gone without insurance for six months and have a medical condition. You'll need a doctor's note to confirm your diagnosis.
For more information about the program, visit the PCIP website, which gives links to information about the plans in various states. Some states run their own PCIP programs; in other states, the federal government administers the program.
No matter where you live, the PCIP provides broad coverage, including 100 percent coverage for preventive care. Although the program isn't free, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently reduced premiums by as much as 40 percent in 17 states and the District of Columbia. Four other states that run their own programs have followed suit, and additional states may also cut their PCIP rates.