In 2010, Congress enacted a new health care law which provides several new benefits to all Americans.
See Also: New benefits are in place, but the political battle rages on
Many of the benefits and protections in the new law are particularly critical to Hispanics/Latinos and African Americans. Some of these changes you will see this year and others phase in over the next several years. By knowing what’s in the law and when the different provisions take effect, you can take advantage of the changes for yourself and your family.
The percentage of Hispanics/Latinos and African Americans without health insurance is particularly high relative to whites and other ethnic groups according to statistics from the Census Bureau. In fact, in 2009 nearly one-third of Hispanics/Latinos and one-fifth of African Americans nationwide were uninsured.
An important provision in the new health care law provides funding to offer temporary health insurance to many who cannot get health insurance through other means. This high-risk pool is officially known as the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP), a first step to help people with pre-existing health conditions get the insurance coverage they need.
Who is eligible for this coverage? To be eligible for the PCIP or the high-risk pool in New Jersey, you must have been uninsured for six months, have a pre-existing condition, and be a United States citizen or national, or be lawfully present in the United States. Individuals will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
There is a lot of information available about this and other benefits of the health care law.
For information about the PCIP and high-risk insurance coverage in New Jersey called NJ Protect, we suggest either going to HealthCare.gov or calling 1-888-551-2130.