Illinois is starting enrollment in a new health insurance plan for people with pre-existing conditions who have trouble getting coverage in the private sector, officials announced Thursday, August 19.
Enrollment in the new plan—dubbed the Illinois Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, or IPXP—begins Friday, August 20, according to a statement from Gov. Pat Quinn’s office.
The plan is meant to bridge the gap until 2014, when the new national health reform law will prohibit private insurers from denying a policy, or basing pricing decisions, on a person’s health status.
The feds set aside $5 billion nationally to fund the temporary “high risk” pools; Illinois’ share is $196 million. Enrollees must also pay premiums.
Illinois officials expect the program to cover 5,000 uninsured Illinois residents under a preferred provider organization plan with a $2,000 deductible.
“The transitional coverage provided by the federally funded IPXP is an important step as we move toward an Illinois health insurance marketplace with improved performance, accountability and transparency,” Illinois Department of Insurance Director Michael McRaith said in a statement.
Urbana-based Health Alliance Medical Plans Inc. was awarded the contract last month to run the new plan, according to state records. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Illinois, Trustmark Cos. and four other firms also bid.