Saturday, February 23, 2013

Jill-Care: Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan Keeps Her Running

Jill from North Carolina is a writer and a tutor, but she�s also a runner. A few years ago, she was even training for the Olympic trials in the marathon. But one day, she suddenly passed out in a parking lot. She was diagnosed with a heart condition, atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT).

The good news was that the condition could be remedied with a surgical procedure.

The bad news was that Jill could not afford the surgery.

For years following her diagnosis, she lived within reach of a cell phone just in case she had to call 911. Her condition worsened. �I did stop running; I stopped exercising completely because any kind of exertion would trigger an episode. So I went from running marathons competitively to doing nothing,� Jill says.

She applied for insurance that might cover her surgery, but was turned down due to her pre-existing condition. Her appeal was denied.

There didn�t seem to be a place in the health care system for her situation.

In 2011, Jill heard about the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP). PCIP is a program created by the health care law. It is designed to provide affordable health coverage for people who were otherwise locked out of the private system. It also serves as a bridge to 2014, when insurance companies are prohibited from refusing to sell coverage based on someone�s pre-existing condition.�

Jill applied for PCIP. �It took about about 10 minutes to fill out the online application. I received a [approval] letter two weeks later,� Jill says. �In another two weeks, she had her surgery. It�s been over a year since her surgery and Jill hasn�t had another episode. She�s running every single day again.

�The Affordable Care Act---and PCIP program in particular--allows me to pursue what I love to do and have medical coverage and have the comfort of having that medical coverage,� Jill says. �So I don�t have to worry if I have an injury, or an illness, or an accident, that I�m going to go bankrupt; I�m going to lose everything.�

Jill-Care in Action: Coverage for Pre-Existing ConditionsVisit to learn more about this programSee Myrna's story about trying to find insurance with a pre-existing conditionSee all MyCare stories ?

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