There is some exciting news for people with pre-existing medical conditions who live in New York State. The State has begun taking applications for the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Program, also called the NY Bridge Plan.
The plan is expected to provide health care coverage to about 15,000 New York State residents who have pre-existing medical conditions. Enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis and a waiting list will be set up if the program is over-subscribed. To be eligible for this program you must be a legal U.S. resident and reside in New York State. You must have one or more pre-existing medical conditions and not have had health care insurance for the past six months.
The program will provide immediate medical coverage to the people enrolled in it and be very affordable compared to similar private health care insurance plans. Private sector health insurance currently costs about $1,000 per month. The NY Bridge Plan will offer monthly cover for only $362 per month to residents of up-state New York and $421 to those who reside in down-state counties. There is no deductible amount but doctors services are subject to a $20 co-payment fee.
Governor David A. Paterson endorsed the NY Bridge plan, saying “One of the most immediate benefits of federal health reform is this program to provide assistance to people with health problems and no insurance. We welcome this opportunity to offer affordable health insurance to our most vulnerable uninsured New Yorkers.
New York is expected to receive $297 million dollars from the $5 billion Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Federal government has also guaranteed that no financial responsibility will fall to the State government. This is a temporary program to help uninsured people with pre-existing health care conditions and will end in 2014 when all individuals will be eligible to purchase insurance through State health insurance exchanges.
The New York Bridge Plan will cover a wide range of medical services including primary care, access to specialist care, in-patient and out-patient hospital care and prescription drugs. It will also provide nurses and other health professionals to help patients to deal with chronic conditions and maintain their overall health.