Obama administration officials have confirmed reports that they’ll let some people with serious health problems keep their coverage a few more weeks.
Managers of the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan, a temporary health insurance program for people who can’t qualify for medically underwritten health insurance, have added a notice about the extension to the PCIP website.
PCIP will let enrollees stay in the program until March 31, instead of shutting down Jan. 31, officials say in the notice.
The transitional coverage will give PCIP enrollee more times to replace their coverage, officials say.
Enrollees who want to keep their PCIP coverage will have to pay extra premiums for February and March, but the monthly rate will be the same enrollees paid for coverage for this month, officials say.
Drafters of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act created the program to provide individual coverage for uninsurable people until 2014. PPACA now prohibits carriers in the individual market from considering personal health information other than age when deciding whether to issue coverage or when setting rates.
PCIP enrollees have had to pay a subsidized premium comparable to what healthy consumers would pay for similar coverage in the individual market.
Originally, PCIP was set to shut down Dec. 31. In mid-December, because of concerns about exchange enrollment problems, officials at CMS said the program would remain open longer.
Kaiser Health News reported the new PCIP transition period change yesterday. Kaiser reporters attributed the news to a CMS e-mail.