The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the establishment of a new Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP). The PCIP will offer coverage to uninsured Americans who have been unable to obtain health coverage because of a pre-existing health condition.
The new plan was created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and will be administered either by a state or by the HHS. The PCIP will serve as a transitional program until 2014, when the application of preexisting condition exclusions for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, is prohibited.
Twenty-one states have requested that the HHS run their PCIP, and twenty-nine states, including the District of Columbia, have requested that they run the program themselves. Federal law establishes general eligibility, but state programs can vary on cost, benefits, and determination of pre-existing condition. Information on state and HHS run programs is available www.HealthCare.gov, a website run by HHS.
The PCIP will cover a broad range of health benefits, including:
- Primary and specialty care
- Hospital care
- Prescription drugs
- On July 1, the national PCIP became open to applicants in states where HHS is operating the program.
- All state-operated PCIP can enroll July 1 through the end of the summer.
Information on how to apply for the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan is available at www.HealthCare.gov.
An informational pamphlet on the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan can be found in the online brochure.