Sunday, February 17, 2013

PCIP - Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

The Obamacare Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) is flat broke. Busted. Don't bother applying for PCIP because you won't get in.
Tens of thousands of Americans who cannot get health insurance because of pre-existing medical problems will be blocked from a program designed to help them because funding is running low.
Obama administration officials said Friday that the state-based “high-risk pools” set up under the 2010 health-care law will be closed to new applicants as soon as Saturday and no later than March 2, depending on the state.
But they stressed that coverage for about 100,000 people who are now enrolled in the high-risk pools will not be affected.

What happens now?

If your state does not have a high risk pool or carrier of last resort, you will have to wait until October to sign up for coverage to be effective January 1, 2014.
Initial fears that as many as 375,000 sick people would swamp the pools and bankrupt them by 2012 did not pan out. This is largely because, even though the pools must charge premiums comparable to those for healthy people, the plans sold through them are often expensive.
Congress miscalculated.

Not enough money to fund PCIP.

Not enough people signed up.

All things considered, the premiums are quite affordable. Makes you wonder how well Obamacare 2014 will work when current premiums for everyone, including healthy people, are 2x current rates.
Asked why the administration has not requested additional money from Congress to keep the program open — admittedly a tough sell in the current political and budgetary environment — Cohen said, “My responsibility is to work with the appropriation we have.”
So what happens if Congress fails to make funds available for the subsidies and Medicaid expansion?

Did it ever occur to these folks that running PCIP costs money?

Yes, but we were promised that Obamacare would "not add one dime to the deficit".
About 129 millionpeople nationwide have a medical condition or prior illness that would make it hard for them to buy their own insurance plan.
That's about a third of the population.

I find that figure hard to swallow.

So what happens next year when hardly anyone can afford Obamacare health insurance?
Among those stunned by Friday’s news was a 61-year-old Virginia woman who is battling stage-four breast cancer. The woman, who asked to be identified by her middle name, Joyce, because she wants to keep her illness private, is self-employed and had bought her own insurance for years.
Late in 2010, however, the insurer that Joyce was using pulled out of Virginia. She was healthy at the time. But when she applied to other companies, she was told that because she had been diagnosed with — and successfully treated for — an earlier breast cancer, she was ineligible for coverage.
Carriers pulling out of the health insurance market before 2014 is another concern the birdbrains in DC failed to consider. We have no idea how many people are like Joyce, that had coverage until the carrier bailed.

PCIP ran out of money. DC is running trillion dollar deficits every year.

Brother, can you spare a dime?
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