WASHINGTON (AP) — Citing financial concerns, the Obama administration has started shutting down the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) program.
The administration “has been committed to monitoring PCIP enrollment and spending closely and making necessary adjustments in the program to ensure responsible management of the $5 billion provided by Congress,” PCIP director Richard Popper wrote in a memo. “To this end, we are implementing a nationwide suspension of enrollment.”
In a teleconference with state counterparts, administration officials said Friday that the PCIP will immediately stop taking new PCIP applications in the 23 states where the federal government administers the program.
States run the PCIP programs in the other states. In those states, consumers may have more time to apply for coverage.
In Wisconsin, for example, residents have until March 2 to apply.
“We’re glad this program was here and able to help,” said Amie Goldman, who oversees the program in Wisconsin. “I’m certainly disappointed we won’t be able to serve everyone who has a need for this coverage.”
People already in the PCIP program can keep their coverage, and PCIP enrollees who move to new states can still apply for replacement PCIP coverage, officials said.
PCIP has served more than 135,000 people, including many patients with serious medical problems such as cancer and heart failure.