Increasing Access to the Uninsured

 In March 2010, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).  One of the main purposes of the law is to make coverage more affordable and secure so that there will be fewer of us who face being uninsured. It will take several years for all of the provisions of the law to be fully enacted, but by 2016 it is estimated that 32 million currently uninsured citizens will have health insurance coverage.
Here’s how the ACA increases access to secure health care coverage:
  • By requiring insurance companies to accept everyone – even those with pre-existing conditions (in effect for children in 2010 and adults in 2014)
  • By prohibiting the insurance company practice of dropping people from coverage when they get sick (“rescission”)
  • By offering subsidies for low and middle-income people to help them afford insurance (2014)
  • By creating a one-stop-shop for competitive insurance offers (health insurance exchange) – making it easy for consumers to compare prices and options (2014)
  • By immediately creating a subsidized insurance option for those previously denied insurance coverage (see “Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Pool” below)
  • By expanding the number of people covered by Medicaid
  • By mandating that people who can afford insurance (i.e. insurance would cost less than 8% of their income) either purchase insurance or pay a tax (2014)
  • By requiring insurance companies to offer coverage to people up to age 26 through their parent’s policy (2010)
  • By allowing people to keep their current coverage, if it works well for them
  • By encouraging employers to offer health insurance to their workers
Covering everyone in America is important because we’re all in this together.  If your neighbor doesn’t have coverage and gets sick, it costs us all – through higher insurance costs, higher hospital charges and more bankruptcies and financial problems affecting our families, friends, neighbors and communities.
Enrolling in Michigan’s Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Pool
Michigan residents with pre-existing conditions who have been uninsured for the previous six months are eligible to enroll. Consumers interested in this program should begin collecting the documents that will be required for enrollment, including:

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship (i.e. birth certificate) and Michigan residency (i.e. state driver’s license).
  • Certification by a physician (i.e. doctor’s letter), issued within the past six months, demonstrating that the individual suffers from a medical condition found in the pool’s list of pre-existing conditions, OR
  • Evidence that, for health reasons, a carrier has refused to issue coverage to the individual within the previous six months (i.e. health insurance company denial letter).

For a list of the pool’s pre-existing conditions, visit: 
Michigan consumers interested in detailed enrollment, benefit and eligibility information should contact PHP weekdays from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm EST at 877-459-3113.  Request an application for coverage.

From MichUHCAN Newsletter ACA-02 2010