The Low-Cost Health Care Option You Never Heard Of

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Look for alternatives. People who don't qualify for PCIPs may qualify for their state's high-risk insurance pool, a precursor to PCIPs. High-risk insurance pools exist in 35 states and are similar in function to PCIPs. They target individuals with pre-existing conditions who can't get coverage from private insurers, but they don't require people to be uninsured for six months. However, these high-risk plans are usually much more expensive than PCIPs. And in some cases, basic insurance coverage will begin immediately, but you may have to sit out a three- to 12-month waiting period before the plans will pay for your pre-existing condition. To find out whether your state has a high-risk pool, visitwww.naschip.org/states_pools.htm.

Find free health care. If you still can't get coverage, either due to cost or eligibility requirements, find local clinics that provide basic services for free.

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