On March 14, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it will once again extend transitional coverage to those currently enrolled in the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) until April 30, 2014. PCIP has been the federal health insurance risk pool, created in 2010 by health reform.
The latest extension allows current PCIP enrollees to buy an additional month of coverage through the end of April.
In January, CMS extended transitional coverage through March 31, 2014, corresponding with the open enrollment deadline for the ACA's Health Insurance Marketplaces. The additional PCIP extension is intended to provide another month of coverage while enrollees search and enroll in ACA coverage.
According to PCIP.gov's website, "Enrollees in the federally-run Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP), who have not yet found new health insurance coverage through the Marketplace, can purchase an additional month of PCIP coverage through April 30, 2014, while they continue their search. Time is running out. You need to act to avoid a lapse in coverage. Open enrollment through the Marketplace for this plan year ends on March 31. Enrollees will be notified by mail of this option to extend their PCIP plan through April, along with details about cost-sharing. Eligible enrollees can purchase PCIP transitional coverage by sending in an April premium payment; which will be the same monthly rate that they paid for January-March 2014."
Background on PCIP
In July, 2010, the health reform bill created the Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion Plan (PCIP) to provide health insurance coverage to uninsurable Americans. PCIP coverage has been available for people with a pre-existing medical condition who’ve been without health coverage for at least 6 months, regardless of income.
In the spring of 2013, PCIP suspended acceptance of new enrollment applications.
As of 2014, those with pre-existing conditions are able to purchase individual health insurance through the public health insurance marketplaces, through the private health insurance market, or through a health insurance broker.