How Pre-Existing Insurance Plans Are Helping to Bridge the Coverage Gap

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<p>When fully implemented, the Affordable Care Act will prohibit insurers from denying coverage to individuals because of preexisting health conditions. However, this provision of health reform will not go into effect until 2014. In the meantime, the law created Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans (PCIPs), state-based, temporary high-risk pools that make health insurance coverage available to individuals who have been unable to obtain it because of their health status or conditions. </p>
<p>A <a href="/publications/issue-briefs/2011/jun/realizing-health-reforms-potential-early-implementation-pre">new issue brief</a> from The Commonwealth Fund, by Jean Hall and Janice Moore of the University of Kansas, examines PCIP enrollment trends, benefits and premiums, and out-of-pocket costs. Enrollment has been more modest than expected, with approximately 21,000 people enrolled as of April 30, 2011, but the PCIP program is of critical importance, the authors say. By providing a temporary safety net for the "uninsurable," PCIPs have allowed thousands of people to get the care they need and prevented some people’s conditions from progressing to disabilities. Recent federal and state reductions in premiums and deductibles will help make the plans more affordable. </p>
<p>Read the brief, part of the <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=F4EDA1AE78A944BEA80198B614439375&_z=z">Realizing Health Reform's Potential series</a>, to learn more about how PCIP plans are helping to bridge the coverage gap until health insurances exchanges are operational.</p>