Over 1,000 in PA applied for high-risk health plan on day one

As of midnight 1,147 Pennsylvanian’s had applied for a high risk health plan the state is offering to uninsured people with preexisting medical conditions. If all are accepted, they would fill nearly a third of the 3,500 initial slots in the plan intended as a bridge until the federal health reform law is fully implemented in 2014.

Pennsylvania and New Jersey are among 29 states that will offer such plans directly while residents in the other states, including Delaware, will be able to join plans run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Check out the full story in today's editions of The Inquirer here.

The plans are available to U.S citizens and legal residents who are uninsured as a result of a preexisting medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease or other problems that have left them unable to get insurance in the private market. After 2014, insurers will be barred from excluding people with such conditions or charging them more than similarly situated people without such illnesses.

The federal government will spends $5 billion, including $160 million in Pennsylvania and $141 million in New Jersey on these preexisting condition insurance plans. You can get more information on the program here.

Pennsylvania officials encouraged people to apply online, saying it should take only 15 minutes. Click here to go to that site.

New Jersey residents can download the application here and mail it to Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield.

To check out more Check Up items go to www.philly.com/checkup.