HIPIOWA-FED Offers Affordable Coverage for Iowans with Pre-existing Conditions

DES MOINES, Iowa, May 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A number of widely publicized changes occurred last fall that allow parents to obtain health care coverage for children with pre-existing conditions and to extend coverage to their sons or daughters until age 26. What's not widely known is another major change that allows individuals who have been denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions to get coverage through HIPIOWA-FED.

HIPIOWA-FED is part of a national program created by the Affordable Care Act that provides coverage to Iowans with pre-existing conditions who have been without health care coverage for six months or longer. This includes people who cannot obtain insurance either through an employer or through an individual health plan, people who have been denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition, or those whose insurance plans exclude coverage for a specific pre-existing condition.

HIPIOWA-FED premiums and coverage are comparable to typical individual insurance plans. For example, a 30-year-old non-tobacco user could obtain coverage with a $1,000 deductible for $263 per month.

"We want to make Iowans aware that many people could qualify for affordable coverage that will allow them to obtain the ongoing care, treatment and medications they need, even if they have a pre-existing condition," says Cecil Bykerk, executive director.

"Unfortunately, some may believe mistakenly that the program has been struck down by the courts or that coverage won't be available until 2014."

Bykerk says funding has been secured to Jan. 1, 2014 to assure that HIPIOWA-FED can cover anticipated claims for up to 1,000 Iowans. Approximately 200 Iowans are currently enrolled.

He encourages Iowans who have been without health care coverage for at least six months and cannot obtain individual or group health care coverage due to a pre-existing condition to visit www.HIPIOWAFED.com. The plan also may offer a solution for some disabled Iowans who have been without coverage for six months or longer to obtain short-term coverage until they become eligible for Medicare.

The site lists all of the eligibility requirements, including a list of pre-existing conditions that qualify for coverage under the plan, and a complete table showing the cost of monthly premiums at any age. Additionally, www.HIPIOWAFED.com includes an application form that is easy to complete as well as a listing of documentation that should be submitted with the application. Iowans also can contact the HIPIOWA-FED call center at (877) 505-0513 to learn more about the program and to get assistance in filling out enrollment applications.