The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has opened enrollment in the new Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) that offers coverage for individuals who have been uninsured for at least six months, have been unable to get health coverage because of a health condition, and are U.S. citizens or legal residents. Twenty-one states have elected to have HHS administer their PCIP and 29 states and the District of Columbia will run their own programs. Starting July 1, 2010, the PCIP will be open to applicants in the 21 states where HHS is operating the program. Other states will begin enrollment by the end of the summer. The PCIP will end in 2014, when insurers will no longer be able to discriminate against adults with pre-existing conditions. Five billion dollars are available under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to support the PCIP in every state, with no state matching requirement. The Act establishes general eligibility for the PCIP, but states can determine the costs, benefits, and rules for determining pre-existing conditions for their programs.
Additional information is available through the new HHS health care website.