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Good news for (some) people with pre-existing conditions

One of the first provisions in the Affordable Care Act to take effect was the creation of Prexisting Condition Insurance Plans (PCIP’s). These plans are designed to provide guaranteed coverage at a reduced rate to people with pre-existing medical conditions, until the main part of the health reform law kicks in in a couple years from now.

Some states are using the federal money to run their own PCIP’s, but in 23 states it’s the federal government that runs the plans. Now that it has half a year of state specific data on the PCIP’s, the Department of Health and Human Services announced it has decided to lower premiums in 17 states.

On the low end, Mississippi will reduce premiums by 2 percent. Several states will cut monthly rates in the 15 to 25 percent range, including the District , which will reduce premiums by 18 percent. Six states, including Virginia, will reduce their premiums by 40 percent.

The change means that a 55-year-old District resident who would have owed $551 per month under the old rates for the standard plan will now owe $450. In Virginia, the same person’s premium would now be $297 monthly, compared with $498 before.

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