Today, the California Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board (MRMIB) announced that it got federal approval to lower premiums for the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Program (PCIP), which provides coverage to Californians denied for private coverage.
This is great news for all Californians who have been or could be denied for pre-existing conditions. But just because these Californians are denied for coverage at any price doesn’t mean affordability isn’t an issue as well. It’s welcome news that not only is the new Affordable Care Act providing an option for those denied from buying coverage, but that the premiums will be more affordable.
Run by the state but 100% federally funded, the PCIP “high risk pool” started in October 2010 providing a new option to those denied for pre-existing conditions. Previously, the only option for Californians denied due to the health status was a state-run program that was much more expensive and often had a waiting list. That program, the Major Risk Medical Insurance Program (MRMIP) continues to operate as well, and both are administered by the MRMIB board.
It’s critical that California aggressive market this new option and these new premiums. It’s great that over 3,500 Californians are getting affordable access to coverage they wouldn’t have because of the new federal health law, but many more can benefit. California can draw down hundreds of millions of dollars in federal dollars, to provide greater economic security to families and to the benefit of the health system on which we all rely.
For more information on the PCIP, please visit www.pcip.ca.gov.