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GAO Releases Health Reform Implementation Report

September 1, 2011

The General Accountability Office (GAO), the federal government’s chief oversight agency, recently released a report on the implementation to date of the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) program.  Created by the Affordable Care Act, PCIPs provide health insurance coverage to individuals who have been uninsured for at least 6 months due to a pre-existing condition.  Some states have set up their own PCIP; in others, the federal government runs the plan through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The report discusses the program features, early enrollment and spending trends, and federal oversight activities related to both state- and federally administered PCIPs. In particular, GAO found that both enrollment and spending for PCIPs have been significantly lower than expected.  To help increase enrollment, HHS recently reduced premiums for the federally run PCIP plans and encouraged the state-administered plans to do the same.  The GAO report also found that monthly premiums vary widely among the states, from $240 in Utah to $1,048 in Alaska for a 50-year-old enrollee.  Of particular interest to chapters are the appendices to the report, which include analysis of and details about each state’s plan.  The report can be found here

Learn more about PCIPs.