States have until Friday — May 10 — to decide whether they want to keep their state-run Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) programs running or kill the programs and put the enrollees in the hands of the federal PCIP system.
Officials at the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), the agency that oversees both the state and the federal PCIP programs, talk about the changes in a new PCIP state contract fact sheet.
CCIIO — pronounced “Sih-Sigh-Oh” — is an arm of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which is, in turn, an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
CCIIO is asking states to accept new contract terms or shut down their PCIP programs because Congress provided only $5 billion in PCIP funding in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA), and “CMS must operate the program within the fixed $5 billion PCIP program appropriation,” officials said.
If a state kills its PCIP program, the federal PCIP program will continue coverage for the enrollees, officials said.
“Enrollees will not experience any break in their health coverage,” officials said.
PCIP — pronounced “P sip” — provides major medical coverage for people with serious health problems at prices comparable to the rates healthy people pay for commercial coverage.
When Congress drafted PPACA, it created PCIP as a temporary relief measure, with the understanding that the sick people in the program would be able to get ordinary commercial coverage in January 2014, when new PPACA restrictions on medical underwriting are set to take effect.