WASHINGTON – The District of Columbia’s Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF) announces the availability of the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) through the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The program provides affordable health insurance for District residents unable to purchase health coverage in the commercial marketplace because of a pre-existing medical condition.
After exploring the feasibility of a District-run program, DHCF informed DHHS that it would join the 23 participating states utilizing the federal option. The program is administered by GEHA, a health insurance carrier under contract with the DHHS.
The PCIP was established by the federal health reform legislation, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it is a transitional program that provides coverage until the health insurance exchanges are launched in 2014. The health insurance exchanges will offer subsidized health coverage in all states to residents without insurance coverage, regardless of their medical condition. Through the ACA, states were offered the option of administering a PCIP program using federal funds or allowing the federal government to run a program.
“While DC is a leader in health coverage, the PCIP plan offers a much needed option for residents who face insurmountable barriers to buying health insurance in the commercial market, said Julie Hudman, Ph.D., Director of the Department of Health Care Finance. “This is one more step in the District’s movement towards ensuring access to affordable health insurance to all DC residents.”
As of September 15, 2010, District residents can apply for the program, with coverage starting as soon as October 1, 2010 for applications submitted and approved prior to September 30, 2010. Information on the application process and monthly premium rates for DC can be found at www.pciplan.com.
District residents that have questions about health insurance can get answers from the Districts Health Care Ombudsman at 1-877-685-6391.