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New report: The ACA'S PCIP serving as a bridge; High-risk pools not a long-term solution
Date:9/12/2012

New York, NY, September 13, 2012--The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, the name for the federal high-risk health insurance pool established by the Affordable Care Act, is serving its purpose as a bridge program, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report. Currently, the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan is providing a coverage option for people with pre-existing health conditions until they are eligible to purchase insurance through the new state exchanges in 2014, with much of their costs subsidized. However, the program's high costs and relatively low enrollment numbers indicate that high-risk pools, which are designed to cover people excluded from the individual insurance market because of a health problem, are not a tenable long-term solution.

Until the exchanges are implemented in 2014 and people can no longer be denied coverage because of their health history, people with pre-existing conditions who are unable to buy coverage have two alternatives for purchasing health insurancethe federal Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, which is administered either by individual states or the federal government, or a state-based high-risk pool if they live in one of the 35 states that offers them. Launched between July and October 2010, the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan has enrolled almost 78,000 people to date, and nearly 226,000 people are enrolled in state-run high-risk pools, some of which have existed since the 1970s. These pools are necessary because people with pre-existing conditions are often unable to purchase health insurance on the individual market, as insurers either charge unaffordable rates, offer plans that don't cover certain health conditions, or deny coverage regardless of ability to pay.

"The health insurance marketplace has failed people with pre-existing conditions for years," said Jean Hall, associate research professor at the University of Kansas and lead author of the new report, The Affordable Car
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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