Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan Is Serving Its Purpose, but High-Risk Pools Not a Long-Term Solution

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<p>A new <a href="/publications/issue-briefs/2012/sep/realizing-health-reforms-potential-affordable-care-acts-pre">Commonwealth Fund issue brief</a> finds that the federal high-risk health insurance pool established by the Affordable Care Act is serving its purpose as a bridge program, providing a coverage option for people excluded from the individual insurance market because of a health problem. But the high costs and relatively low enrollment numbers of the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan and the state-run high-risk pools operating in 35 states indicate that high-risk pools in general are not a tenable long-term solution for insuring this population. </p><p>The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, launched in 2010, provides a health insurance option for people with preexisting medical problems in all 50 states until they are eligible to purchase insurance through the new state exchanges in 2014, with much of their costs subsidized. Current enrollment in the federal program stands at about 78,000. Beginning in 2014, insurance carriers will be banned from charging people with conditions such as cancer higher rates, offering plans that don't cover certain health conditions, or denying coverage regardless of ability to pay. </p>
<p>Read more on <a href="/publications/issue-briefs/2012/sep/realizing-health-reforms-potential-affordable-care-acts-pre"></a>. </p>