Thursday, February 21, 2013

Special Federal Insurance Program to Stop Enrolling New Members

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Last week, the Obama administration announced that due to rising costs and limited funding, it would stop enrolling new members in a special $5 billion insurance program for people with preexisting conditions. The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) was established in 2010 under President Obama's healthcare reform law. It was designed to provide coverage for suck people unable to find coverage in the  private insurance market.   

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a notice saying it would suspend new enrollments to "help ensure that funds are available through 2013 to continuously cover people currently enrolled in PCIP." About 100,000 current PCIP beneficiaries are not affected by the change. Twenty seven state-run  High Risk Insurance Pools across the nation (including North Carolina)  are also closing enrollment to new members.

This news is especially disheartening as the North Carolina High Risk Insurance Pool, Inclusive Health, announced earlier this month that it has frozen enrollment to new members. Now that the state and federal options are no longer available, people will have to wait until January 1, 2014 when the Affordable Care Act will block insurers from turning away those with preexisting conditions. 

For details about this announcement click here.
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