The tens of thousands of people with a history of serious illnesses who are enrolled in high-risk insurance pools created under the health care law will have an additional two months -- until March 31 -- before they lose that coverage, Kaiser Health News reports.
Late last month federal officials announced that they would extend the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) — scheduled to close at the end of 2013 —until the end of this month to give people more time to enroll in health plans through state and federal insurance enrollment websites, many of which have been riddled with problems. The federal high-risk pools, which started in 2010, have helped people with pre-existing conditions obtain health coverage because they were often turned away by commercial insurers.
Enrollees in the high-risk pools must select a new plan by March 15 to avoid a gap in coverage, according to HHS. Open enrollment for the health law ends March 31. The current enrollment in both state and federal PCIP programs is less than 30,000, down from 85,000 in October, according to an HHS official.
The extension is one in a series that federal officials have granted to help consumers enroll in the health law’s online marketplaces, or exchanges, after website problems frustrated millions of potential enrollees. Read more.