PCIP Program Extended To End Of March

On January 14, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) has been extended to run through March 31. Previously in December, the HHS had extended the program through the end of January.

The PCIP was created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), and was designed to provide health insurance coverage for individuals who had been uninsured for six months and who had been denied a policy because they have preexisting conditions, including employees in companies that do not provide health coverage.

The PCIP was supposed to run until Jan. 1, 2014, when the health insurance marketplaces began operation. However, due to the problems the marketplaces experienced when open enrollment began, the HHS has extended the PCIP program to help transition the remaining PCIP enrollees to coverage on the marketplace.

PCIP enrollees will have to select a new marketplace plan by March 15 to avoid a gap in coverage, according to the HHS. The extension of coverage will be paid for with existing program funds. The HHS noted that more than $4.7 billion has been spend of the $5 billion appropriated by Congress in 2010 for the program.

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