health insurance

Health Insurance for High Risk Patients Time Frame Lengthened

High-risk insurance pools that were created by the new health insurance laws are being extended for an additional two months. Those people categorized with a serious health condition now have until March 31, 2014 to get health insurance without penalties and before losing that coverage.

Health Insurance for High Risk Patients Time Frame Lengthened

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.

HHS spokeswoman Erin Shields Britt said in an email Tuesday that “as part of our continuing effort to help smooth consumers’ transition into Marketplace coverage, we are allowing those covered by PCIP additional time to shop for new coverage while they receive the ongoing care and treatment they need.”

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 here)

This coverage helps these people with serious pre-existing conditions such as a history of cancer. The Health Insurance for High Risk Patients Time Frame extension allows this life saving coverage ample time to choose a marketplace that fits their specific condition and their families.

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