Plan for pre-existing conditions sees 50% jump in enrollment
National enrollment in a pre-existing condition health plan created by last year’s healthcare reform law has increased by 50% in the past three months to more than 12,000 Americans, HHS said. The program is a temporary one created as a bridge for those with pre-existing conditions with no other option—including state high- risk pools given federal support but not available everywhere—until 2014, when the uninsured can get coverage through state insurance exchanges and insurers will not be allowed to deny coverage to people based on their health status. Medicare’s actuary estimated last spring that enrollment would total 375,000 by the end of 2010. To build awareness of the plan, HHS is working with the Social Security Administration on an outreach campaign and will provide information about the plan in about 3.2 million Social Security disability insurance application receipts distributed annually. HHS is also working with states, consumer groups, chronic disease organizations, healthcare providers, social workers, other federal agencies and the insurance industry to highlight the plan, and has created resources to promote it, including a website detailing the plan’s eligibility and benefits.