Study: High-Risk Insurance Pools Are Likely ‘Unsustainable’

The Affordable Care Act created the temporary Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) to cover consumers with pre-existing conditions who could not get insurance coverage until Obamacare fully goes into effect in 2014, and some states have their own temporary high-risk insurance pools. But a new study from the Commonwealth Fund finds that these plans are “extremely expensive and likely unsustainable” because they operate at a loss and are unaffordable for low-income patients due to “lower-than-anticipated enrollment and higher-than-anticipated costs for the PCIP.” Instead, expanding Medicaid and setting up the state insurance exchanges likely will do more to help high-risk patients who have trouble accessing health coverage. During the health care debate, Republicans supported expanding these “unsustainable” high-risk insurance pools, and Mitt Romney’s campaign includes them in his health care plan.