In California, enrollment in the federal Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan may be coming to a premature end. The plan is an offshoot of the Affordable Care Act and aims to bring affordable insurance coverage to those with chronic illnesses and other pre-existing conditions that kept private insurers away for years. Lawmakers had originally set the enrollment limit in California to 23,000 people. The costs of running the program, however, seem to be much more than first estimated, and California legislators have lowered the enrollment limit to a scant 6,800.
With the new limit set so low, the enrollment period may be coming to an end within two months time. Legislators were prompted to lower the limit after being presented with claims data from participants in the program earlier this month. The data showed that the amount of money paid out for legitimate claims was far more than what legislators and analysts had originally estimated. Given that the program is federally funded, California lawmakers have little say in exactly how the money can be used and must ensure that insurers have access to enough money to pay claims.
Whether the California Legislature will attempt to obtain more money from the federal government is not yet known. Legislators will likely wait to see the results of the program and digest the advice of insurance analysts before taking any action on the program in the future.