Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Enrollment Grows, But Remains Low, In Health Reform’s Temporary High-Risk Pool

More than 18,000 individuals have enrolled in the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP), a temporary high risk health insurance pool established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to the most recent data from the Center For Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO).

The 18,313 total for March 31 is 47% more than in February 2011 and more than twice as many as in late 2010. Nevertheless, the enrollment figures are far below the 5 million expected to enroll in the $5 billion program.

The PCIP is designed to provide health insurance coverage for individuals who have been uninsured for six months and who have been denied a policy because they have preexisting conditions. The pool will run until Jan. 1, 2014, when American Health Insurance Exchanges take effect.

Pennsylvania had the highest number of enrollees, 2,684, followed by California with 1,543 enrollees, and Texas, with 1,298 enrollees. North Dakota had the fewest number of enrollees, 6.

At a recent hearing before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Steven B. Larsen, Deputy Administrator and Director, CCIIO, said the following about the PCIP: “I am pleased to report that enrollment has grown significantly over the past several months and we anticipate continued growth. We believe that PCIP programs administered by the states and the federal government will continue to fill a market void and provide valuable health insurance coverage to a population that desperately needs it until 2014.…We believe that the PCIP program is a vital bridge to 2014 which provides comprehensive coverage to vulnerable individuals and their families, and we look forward to continuing to improve the program.”

For a comprehensive analysis of the ACA, and additional information on health reform and other developments in employee benefits, just click here.


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