Do you find it hard to obtain health insurance due to pre-existing conditions? You may be eligible for the new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan — a program for people who have a pre-existing medical condition and have been without health insurance coverage for at least six months.
People with pre-existing conditions face daunting challenges — and high costs — when they shop for health insurance. This new plan covers physician and hospital services and prescription drugs. Premiums vary by state. Annual out-of-pocket expenses for enrollees are capped.
Details about the program and how to apply may vary depending on what State you live in. In some states, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, with the help of the U. S. Office of Personnel Management and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Finance Center, will run the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan; other States have asked to run the program themselves.
Regardless of which State you live in, to qualify for the program you must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident, and you must have been uninsured for at least six months. In addition, you must have a pre-existing condition or have been denied insurance coverage because of a medical condition.
For more information, call the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan toll-free at 1- 866- 717- 5826 ( TTY 1-866-561-1604) between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern Time. Or visit www.pcip.gov and select “Find Your State” to learn about eligibility and how to apply.
• On Feb. 25, 1873, Enrico Caruso, the greatest tenor who ever lived, is born. After making New York’s Metropolitan Opera his home base in 1904, Caruso recorded scores of arias of three- and four-minutes in length — the longest duration that could fit on a 78 rpm record.
• On Feb. 26, 1919, more than 800,000 acres of the Grand Canyon is established as a national park. The Grand Canyon is the product of millions of years of excavation by the mighty Colorado River. The chasm is exceptionally deep — dropping more than a mile into the earth — and is 15 miles across at its widest point.
• On Feb. 21, 1927, humorist Erma Bombeck is born in Dayton, Ohio. Her first book, “At Wit’s End” (1967), comprised a collection of her columns. Among her many other popular books were “The Grass Is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank” (1976) and “If Life Is a Bowl Of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?” (1978).
• On Feb. 27, 1934, autosafety advocate and activist Ralph Nader is born in Winsted, Conn. Nader’s 1965 book “Unsafe at Any Speed” criticized the auto industry for poor safety standards, and ultimately led to various reforms.
• On Feb. 23, 1958, fivetime Formula One champion Juan Manuel Fangio of Argentina is kidnapped in Cuba by a group of Fidel Castro’s rebels. He was released unharmed several hours after the Cuba Grand Prix.
• On Feb. 24, 1969, after a North Vietnamese mortar shell rocks their Douglas AC-47 gunship, Airman First Class John L. Levitow throws himself on an activated flare and tosses it out of the aircraft just before it ignites. For saving his fellow crewmembers and the gunship, Airman Levitow was awarded the Medal of Honor.