Health insurance is a contentious subject in our societal and political arenas today. Health insurance has become incredibly expensive due to rising medical costs and the multitude of medical malpractice lawsuits. To everyday Americans, like you and me, these costs eat away at our quality of life and at times can put our long term financial well being in jeopardy. Because of these rising medical costs, the federal government passed The Affordable Care Act in an effort to provide health care coverage to all American citizens.

No matter what side of the fence you are on, health insurance is changing for individuals and businesses throughout the nation, although certain states are fighting the law. For example, the Sunshine state is fighting the changes to residents’ Florida health insurance plans. The state is arguing the constitutionality of The Affordable Care Act.

The way in which health insurance is obtained and the rules for exclusion will drastically change, barring a repeal of The Affordable Care Act, in the year 2014. In the meantime, the federal government is providing ways for individuals to obtain health coverage that have been denied due to pre-existing conditions. I was able to take advantage of this plan, and I wanted to share my story in hopes it would help someone else in a tight spot.

My Story

About a 3 years ago I found myself, like many Americans, being laid off from a long term job. My employer had to make company-wide cuts in order to keep the doors open and my name was on the chopping block. I took this short term setback as an opportunity to fulfill a lifelong goal of self employment.

What I didn’t expect was how difficult it would be to get health insurance due to some pre-existing conditions I have. After extensive research online, I found a plan provided by the federal government called PCIP (Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan). Here are the requirements to take advantage of this program and the process I went through to obtain it:

Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan Requirements

The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan is offered by the federal government to individuals who meet the following criteria:

• Citizen of the United States of America
• Have not had any form of health coverage for a minimum of 6 months
• Have a documented pre-existing condition or been denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition

Steps to Apply for the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan

I found applying for the PCIP extremely easy. You can apply online but you will want to gather a few documents before starting the process. I was required to provide a letter from my physician stating I have had a medical condition within the last 12 months or a health coverage denial letter from an insurance company in my state. Once you have gathered one of these documents, follow the steps below to apply for this plan.

• Go to www.pcip.gov
• Click on the green “Apply Now” button in the middle of the page
• Step through the application process and submit the form online

Coverage Effective Date

The PCIP.Gov website states that coverage will take effect as soon as 15 days after you submit all required documentation. This depends on when you submit your application. For example, I submitted my application before the 15th of the month and received coverage on the 1st of the next month!

Health Insurance Lifesaver

My lifelong goal was to be self employed doing what I really wanted in life. I was presented with that opportunity and took advantage of it. Without the Pre-Existing Condition Plan I may not have been able to make that dream a reality. This plan allowed me to get the health care coverage I needed while staying financially whole. If you have been denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition, I would highly recommend PCIP.

Author's Bio: 

Mike is a Florida health insurance expert who has been brokering Florida health insurance plans for over 10 years. His team of licensed agents are committed to helping you find the plan that fits your needs and budget.