Obama Administration Extends Special Program for Patients With Preexisting Conditions

Patients with such conditions can renew their current coverage through April while continuing to shop for a new plan on the health insurance exchanges.

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Clara Ritger
March 14, 2014, 9:09 a.m.

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion is ex­tend­ing by one month a spe­cial in­sur­ance pro­gram for pa­tients with preex­ist­ing con­di­tions.

The Preex­ist­ing Con­di­tion In­sur­ance Pro­gram was es­tab­lished after the Af­ford­able Care Act passed in 2010 to give pa­tients with such con­di­tions who could oth­er­wise not qual­i­fy for in­sur­ance the op­por­tun­ity to have cov­er­age be­fore the start of the health in­sur­ance mar­ket­places in 2014.

Con­sumers who pur­chase plans on the health in­sur­ance ex­changes by March 15 will have cov­er­age be­gin­ning April 1. People who pur­chase plans between March 16 and March 31 — the end of the open en­roll­ment peri­od — won’t have cov­er­age un­til May 1.

PCIP plans were set to ex­pire March 31, leav­ing the po­ten­tial for a gap in cov­er­age dur­ing the month of April. But the ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced Fri­day that PCIP con­sumers could buy a one-month ex­ten­sion so that there would be no cov­er­age gaps. PCIP con­sumers have un­til April 15 to se­lect a new plan on the ex­change.

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