New Insurance Option in Illinois

One big piece of health insurance reform is now in place in Illinois: a new high-risk insurance pool for Illinoisans who are otherwise uninsurable. The new plan goes by the sub-euphonious moniker, Illinois Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, or IPXP. We can’t fathom why the program’s acronym isn’t IPCIP, or even IPXCP, but who are we to question the wisdom of government bureaucrats? EIEIO.

Anyway, to qualify for IPXP a person has to have been uninsured for at least six months, have a pre-existing condition, be a U.S. citizen or legal resident, and be unable to obtain health insurance from any other source. The premiums are considerably lower than Illinois’s other high-risk insurance pool, ICHIP. But unfortunately folks currently enrolled in ICHIP are not eligible for IPXP — which is a bit like being barred from buying a cheaper toaster oven just because you already have an old one that works adequately. But who are we to question the wisdom of government bureaucrats?

Our state’s portion of the $5 billion dollars the feds allotted to national risk-pool insurance plans means that Illinois can afford to enroll 4,000 to 6,000 people in the plan –at best about 4 percent of the 1.7 million uninsured people in the state. But who are we to question the wisdom of government bureaucrats?

We’re the first ones to acknowledge that IPXP will be a godsend to those 4,000 to 6,000 people. One wishes they didn’t have to go uninsured for six months before becoming eligible (that’s enough time to rack up $8,000 in HIV medications), but who are we to question the wisdom of government bureaucrats? EIEIO.

The bottom line is this: if you are eligible and can afford the coverage, sign up quick before the program is full. You can get all the information, including an online application, here. And you can read a brief interview with Michael McRaith, director of the Illinois Department of Insurance, discussing IPXP here.

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