California health insurance program now under federal control
California’s high-risk health insurance program is set to be taken over by the federal government in the coming weeks. The state’s Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan was established to ensure that state residents with serious and chronic medical issues were able to find the health insurance coverage they needed. The program itself has been somewhat successful in this endeavor as it provides coverage for some 17,000 Californians. There had been concerns, however, that the program would not be able to last for the remainder of the year, which would mean that these people would lose their coverage entirely.
Program causes some worry among state officials
Some state officials have been expressing concerns that the Pre-Existing Condition Plan may not be able to last until the state’s health insurance exchange is operational. The exchange, called Covered California, is meant to provide affordable health insurance coverage to all Californians, whether they have pre-existing medical conditions or not. This exchange would be considered a replacement for the high-risk insurance program in some regard, but lack of funds and other financial troubles have been threatening to put an end to the program over the past several months.
Federal government aims to ensure consumers remain covered through the program
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is keen to ensure that consumers are able to retain their health insurance coverage through this program. As such, the agency will take on the responsibility of the coverage that the program provides. This will ensure that those relying on the program, whom had often been called “uninsurable” in the past, will continue to receive coverage until Covered California is fully operational.
California is one among many that host this program
The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan is not unique to California as 18 other states have this program in place to help provide health insurance coverage to consumers that are considered to be high risk. More than 100,000 people throughout the U.S. rely on these programs in order to receive the coverage they need. State-based health insurance exchanges are expected to help provide these consumers with new options, but will not actually replace these programs entirely. The federal government will relinquish control of the Pre-Existing Condition Plan once an exchange has become fully active.