For Americans with pre-existing conditions, finding affordable, guaranteed, unrestricted health care just got easier and cheaper, thanks to a federal initiative.

When Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in 2010, the issue of health insurance for those with pre-existing health conditions was dealt with in two ways: First, when PPACA is fully implemented on Jan. 1, 2014, health insurers will be required to accept all applicants regardless of pre-existing conditions and cannot charge extra for their insurance. Second, as an interim measure, the act created what has been called the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP), which is federally funded and federally operated in 23 states and the District of Columbia and administered by the states elsewhere with federal funding.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced new steps to reduce premiums and make it easier for Americans to enroll in the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan. Premiums for the federally-administered PCIP will drop as much as 40 percent in 18 States, and eligibility standards will be eased in 23 States and the District of Columbia to ensure more Americans with pre-existing conditions have access to affordable health insurance. 

Employers, keep your work forces apprised of changes in health insurance law with our Health Care Reform Employee Information Poster. Get yours today and post it prominently.