SANTA FE, N.M., March 4 -- The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission issued the following news release:
Enrollment in New Mexico's federal Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) has been suspended, according to the Public Regulation Commission's Insurance Division. State PCIP's, also known as "temporary high-risk pools," were created by Congress in 2010 to protect Americans needing immediate care for serious and expensive illnesses until 2014 when coverage for such maladies would start under the Affordable Care Act.
However, a recent federal budget report sent to state insurance regulators shows that of the $5 billion originally allocated to fund PCIP's nationwide, only about $2.36 billion is left for the last three quarters of 2013 - just enough to continue coverage for those already enrolled.
In New Mexico, about 1,500 people take part in the state's PCIP. State Insurance Superintendent John G. Franchini said those policyholders will not be affected by the suspension.
For those not currently in the PCIP, Franchini said the New Mexico Medical Insurance Pool (NMMIP), which administers a state-run high-risk program, is still available.
"NMMIP currently covers about 8,000 New Mexicans with pre-existing conditions and will continue to offer health care plans for high-risk individuals at least through 2014," he said. "The sudden suspension of federal PCIPs shouldn't preclude customers here from finding affordable care this year. We're lucky to have this option."
To learn more about the suspension of federal PCIP's, visit www.healthcare.gov.
For more information on NMMIP, visit www.nmmip.org, or call 800-432-0750.
To contact the New Mexico Insurance Division, visit www.nmprc.state.nm.us/insurance, or call 505- 827-4601.
TNS hc11-130305-4229369 StaffFurigay