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Poverty and Public Health
Tue March 5, 2013
Federal Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan Runs Out Of Money
A lack of funding for the Federal Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) has caused New Mexico and other states to suspend enrollment in the plan for the rest of Fiscal Year 2013. Nationally, the PCIP program was budgeted at about 5-billion dollars for 2013, but has now run over budget resulting in the suspension of new applicants.
Approximately 2,000 New Mexicans are currently enrolled in PCIP, which serves people with pre-existing conditions that prevent them from obtaining health insurance through standard outlets.
"They could be diabetic, they could be over-weight, they could have a heart condition, they could have a lung condition, they could have any kind of illness that would prevent them from getting coverage on the standard market," says New Mexico Public Regulation Commission Insurance Superintendent, John Franchini.
According to Franchini the enrollment freeze shouldn’t prevent people from getting insured. Rather, those with pre-existing conditions would be eligible to apply for the New Mexico Medical Insurance Pool.
"It's got over 8,000 people in its program now, and it is available for anyone that doesn't have any insurance coverage now and has pre-existing health conditions," says Franchini. "They can apply for the New Mexico Medical Insurance Pool to get their coverage in place."
Franchini expects up to 1,500 people now unable to access PCIP to apply to the New Mexico Medical Insurance Pool. Those currently receiving benefits from PCIP will continue to receive benefits.