By Angie Stewart
HHS Announces New Insurance Plan for Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announces the creation of its Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP), which will provide coverage to those unable to qualify for coverage due to a pre-existing condition. Funded by a program under the Affordable Care Act, this transitional plan will stay in effect until 2014, after which insurance companies will be prohibiting from discriminating against those with pre-existing conditions.
To provide for more flexibility, HHS has allowed states to determine whether they would like to run their own PCIP, or have HHS run one for them. A little more than half of the states have chosen to run their own programs, under the understanding that they must meet certain requirements set by the federal government.
States choosing to have HHS operate their programs are open for PCIP applicants immediately, while those choosing to operate their own plans will be open to applicants by the end of the summer if not sooner.
New HHS Consumer-Focused Health Care Website
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched a new consumer-focused health care site, www.HealthCare.gov. This site allows consumers to view public and private health coverage options that can be individually tailored. This new site provides consumers with a database of health coverage options, and helps them make informed decisions on their health coverage needs.
This site also provides a wealth of information on the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and the new Pre-Existing Conditions Insurance Plan.