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Understand Your Needs

Not sure what type of health insurance you need?

Weigh your options here


Pre-existing conditions

It can be frustrating trying to find health insurance if you have a pre-existing condition, but help is available. Beginning January 1, 2014, you may not be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition, nor may that condition be used to determine your premium. If you have pre-existing health issues or a disability and have been denied health insurance, you may want to consider applying for these special types of coverage:

Guaranteed-Issue Plans

SpecialCare Health Insurance

Guaranteed-Issue Plans

Some people with pre-existing conditions will not meet the medical eligibility requirements of health insurance companies, placing them in a very difficult position. As a result, the Pennsylvania Blue Cross/Blue Shield companies provide guaranteed-issue health plans, which means you can’t be denied insurance because of your health status. Check with the Blue Cross/Blue Shield company in your county for more information.

  • Blue Cross of Northeastern PA - 1-800-829-8599
  • Capital BlueCross - 1-800-962-2242
  • Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield (Western) - 1-800-544-6679
  • Highmark Blue Shield (Central) - 1-877-986-4571
  • Independence Blue Cross - 1-866-282-2702

Tips on Choosing A Guaranteed-Issue Plan

  • Ask specifically for the “guaranteed-issue plan” or you may receive the wrong application.
  • These plans will NOT cover your pre-existing condition initially - but this exclusion should expire within 12 months.
  • Read the benefit and plan information to understand what benefits are covered.

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SpecialCare Health Insurance

Pennsylvania’s Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans offer SpecialCare, a limited-benefit, low-cost, income-based health insurance plan for individuals and families. 

For more information or to enroll in SpecialCare, download this form to contact a Blue Cross/Blue Shield company that provides services in your county.

Note: SpecialCare is not offered by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, nor does identifying it here serve as an endorsement or sponsorship or other affiliation by or with the Pennsylvania Insurance Department. The SpecialCare products are offered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans and these products and the website links are identified here as a resource only.

Looking for other health options?  Have a low income or disability and don't qualify for Medicare or Medical Assistance?  Visit our Resources and Programs page.

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