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California's Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP)

California's Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) has opened for enrollment.

The PCIP is one of the first major provisions of national health care reform to take effect and is designed to bridge the gap between now and 2014, when insurers will no longer be allowed to decline health coverage or charge higher premiums to individuals with pre-existing conditions.

Coverage under the PCIP is available to Californians who have been without health coverage for at least six months and have been declined coverage from a carrier due to their pre-existing condition or have been offered coverage at a rate higher than the preferred provider premium rate of the state's high risk pool, the Major Risk Medical Insurance Program. Californians interested in coverage under the PCIP are encouraged to visit the California PCIP Website for more information.

California is taking aggressive action to implement federal health care reform and has been working since federal health care reform passed to implement key elements before the 2014 start date. The Californias Health Care Reform Task Force has implemented key reform provisions and programs under health care reform this year, including the PCIP.

California was the first state in the nation to enact legislation creating a health benefit exchange. The California Health Benefit Exchange is really two exchanges - the Exchange for individuals and the SHOP Exchange for small businesses.

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