The “uninsurables”— people with serious medical conditions who can’t buy health coverage on the private market — are supposed to have a safety net to rely on in the new preexisting condition insurance plans (PCIPs). These comprehensive plans, created by the federal health-care law, take all comers who have been uninsured for at least six months. The premiums can be expensive, however, running several hundred dollars a month.
In many states, people with medical conditions such as HIV/AIDs, hemophilia, kidney disease and cancer can get a helping hand from government programs or nonprofits that pay the PCIP premiums on their behalf. But a handful of states have decided to prohibit third parties from picking up the tab.
Iowa is one of them, and in recent months the situation there has generated plenty of public controversy.
Some Iowa health officials would like to use federal funds from the AIDS Drug Assistance Program to pay the PCIP premiums for residents who have HIV/AIDs.