By Daniel Weintraub
California opened the doors Monday on the first major piece of federal health reform to roll out here, a new state-run insurance pool for people who have been denied or priced out of private coverage because of pre-existing medical conditions.
The Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan, or PCIP, is subsidized by the federal government and is designed to help provide coverage until 2014, when insurance companies will no longer be allowed to deny coverage due to a person’s medical history.
The $761 million in federal funds coming to California as part of health care reform for this program is expected to help about 23,000 people obtain coverage.
To qualify for the program, a person must have been without coverage for at least six months and have been denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition or offered coverage at rates higher than an existing state program for high-risk consumers.
“Operating the high-risk insurance plan is a win-win for our state,” said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, “because we can maximize federal funds while providing more affordable coverage to individuals who desperately need health insurance.”
Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, said the new program will provide “much-needed relief” for people shut out of the private insurance market.
“It’s not just a better option, it is for many Californians the only option for getting coverage at any price,” Wright said.
To learn more about the program, go to the PCIP website here.
No related posts.