Health insurance program enrollment to be suspended on March 1
On March 1, 2013, New Jersey will suspend all enrollment into a state-run health insurance program designed for consumers with pre-existing medical conditions. State officials note that this is a mandatory measure per the Affordable Care Act and that the state was directed to suspend enrollment into this program by the Department of Health and Human Services. The health insurance program, which is called the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, is suggested to be in danger of running out of money if enrollment is not frozen.
Finances cited as reason behind suspension
State residents with pre-existing medical conditions that have been considering enrolling in the program have a limited time to do so. These people are being encouraged to take steps to take advantage of the health insurance program while they still can. After March 1, the program will not be accepting any new members, but will continue providing coverage to those that have already been enrolled. Changes to the coverage provided through the health insurance program may be revised at the beginning of 2014, but will remain the same for now.
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Federal officials want to ensure program can provide appropriate coverage
New Jersey Insurance Commissioner Kenneth Kobylowski petitioned the Department of Health and Human Services to reconsider the enrollment freeze, but the request was denied due to financial matters. The state has $141 million allotted to the health insurance program, but the federal agency does not believe that this is enough money to cover the influx of new consumers the program is expected to see in the coming months. The program currently accounts for 1,423 policyholders statewide.
State-run health insurance program experience financial difficulties
While state officials suggest that the program could be financial stable throughout the remainder of the year, the potential for the program to run out of money is too great to be ignored by the Department of Health and Human Services. Throughout the country, similar state-run health insurance program face similar financial problems, and the federal agency is eager to ensure that these programs are able to continue offering the coverage they promise.