Illinois’ subsidized high risk health insurance pool IPXP to stop accepting applications March 2nd, 2013


 The federal office charged with implementing health
care reform announced this past Friday that the subsidized  plans that
are currently insuring more than 100,000 individuals nationwide, will be
closing their doors to new enrollees months before other coverage is
available on the new insurance exchanges.

most of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act do not become
effective until January 1, 2014, the law set up interim plans, called
“Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans” for people who could not buy
health insurance on the private market because of serious health
conditions, including HIV.  In Illinois, the state opened the Illinois
Pre-Existing Insurance Plan (“IPXP”) in August 2010.  Approximately 3000
people now have insurance though IPXP.  Although those people currently
enrolled in those plans will continue to have coverage until January 1,
2014, when they will be able to move to private insurance coverage,
Friday’s announcement means that no new applications will be accepted
after March 2, 2013. 

Fisher, Executive Director of AIDS Legal Council of Chicago, explained
why this is bad news for people with HIV or any other pre-existing
condition that blocks them from getting private insurance.  “IPXP has
been an important source of health care coverage for people with HIV,
including people on the AIDS Drug Assistance Program  whose income
climbs above 300% of the federal poverty level (about $35,000) but do
not have health insurance on the job and cannot afford to pay for their
medications themselves. “  The state has been able to refer those
individuals to IPXP, and to help pay the IPXP premiums, so that they do
not lose access to their medications.     

explained that IPXP was always meant to be a temporary program, set to
expire once pre-existing conditions no longer prevent people from buying
insurance.  “But,” she added “we always assumed that IPXP would
continue to accept new enrollees until very close to January 1st.” 
“It appears,”  she added,” that IPXP is a victim of its own success. 
There was a limited pool of money available for the plans, and in order
to make sure they can continue to pay claims of current enrollees, they
now have to cut off future ones.”     

Legal Council is getting out the word about the closing of enrollment,
and encouraging anyone who has been without insurance for at least six
months to quickly apply for IPXP. NOW!!

  ALCC is available to answer questions or assist with the enrollment process and can be reached at 312-427-8990.


25 years ago, AIDS Legal Council of Chicago works to preserve, promote,
and protect the legal rights of men, women, children, and families in
the metropolitan Chicago area impacted by HIV and AIDS.  The Council
provides free direct legal services to people in need, educates the
public about HIV-related legal issues, and advocates for social policies
that ensure fair treatment for all people affected by HIV and AIDS.