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State Lowers Premiums for Older Uninsured with Chronic Illnesses

Governor Dannel Malloy’s office recently announced some good news for Connecticut’s uninsured residents with chronic illnesses who are unable to find or afford health insurance coverage on their own.

The state-managed Connecticut Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (the Plan), which provides comprehensive health insurance to uninsured people with one or more pre-existing medical conditions, recently received federal approval to offer a flat rate premium of $381 a month for all enrollees. Previously, rates were based on the age of the enrollee, with premiums averaging from $507 at age 50 to about $893 for someone age 65 or older, a cost that had put coverage out of reach for many older residents. Since the Plan opened in August of 2010, only 78 people have signed up. The new flat rate structure took effect on September 1, 2011 and is expected to help boost enrollment in the Plan, especially among older adults age 50-64.

In Connecticut, more than 70,000 residents age 50-64 are uninsured. Too young for Medicare, but old enough to face higher insurance premiums, many 50-64 year olds have difficulty accessing affordable health care coverage. Additionally, about 13% of Connecticut residents aged 19-64 are without health insurance.

“On balance, the new $381 premium rate across the board will help attract the main target audience of the pre-existing condition insurance plan,” said Connecticut Social Services Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby. “Middle-aged and older adults with medical conditions usually have the most difficult time finding affordable, good-quality insurance coverage if they’re on their own without coverage in the workplace.”

The Plan was created as a result of the federal Affordable Care Act and is available to U.S. citizens and legal residents who have been uninsured for at least 6 months and have a pre-existing condition such as diabetes, cancer or asthma. The Plan covers primary and specialty care, hospital care, prescription drugs, radiology, diagnostic imaging and laboratory services.

Learn more about the new program or download an application.

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