WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senator Bob Casey announced a new temporary health insurance plan designed to ensure immediate access to affordable insurance options for uninsured Pennsylvanians who have a pre-existing condition will open for enrollment this Wednesday, August 4. The program, known as PA Fair Care, was established by the new health care law, the Affordable Care Act.
“Pennsylvanians have waited a long time for this day – to have the opportunity to purchase health coverage at a fair price and not be discriminated against because they have a pre-existing condition,” said Senator Casey. “This is a great example of how the new health care law is helping to put consumers in charge of their health care.”
One in five Pennsylvanians under the age of 65 have a pre-existing condition that, absent the new health reform law, could have led to a denial of coverage by an insurance company. This new program is intended to provide a “bridge” until the new health insurance exchange, which will offer greater consumer protections to all those looking for coverage on the individual market, launches in 2014.
PA Fair Care will be overseen by the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance and will be administered statewide through a contract with Highmark Blue Shield. Benefits will include preventive care, physician services, diagnostic testing, hospitalization, mental health services and prescriptions. The cost to enrollees is a subsidized premium of $283.20 monthly.
To be eligible for PA Fair Care, applicants must:
o Be a U.S. citizen or lawful resident
o Be a Pennsylvania resident
o Have a pre-existing health condition
o Be uninsured for the previous six months
PA Fair Care will begin taking applications on Wednesday, August 4, after 8:30 a.m. To apply, applications can be completed online at www.PAFairCare.com, or those without internet access may apply with assistance from the toll free helpline – 1-888-767-7015 (TTY 1-888-767-7018) Monday thru Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.