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NJ Protect continues through this year

By Randy Kraft, WFMZ.com Reporter, RKraft@wfmz.com
Published On: Jun 12 2013 02:30:36 PM CDT

8. Trenton, N.J.

TRENTON, N.J. -

NJ Protect, New Jersey's health insurance program for individuals with pre-existing conditions, will continue operating through the end of the year.

That means the 1,520 people enrolled in the state–operated program can maintain their doctors and provider networks, current coverage and will not see an increase in their premiums this year.

The state has been awarded a $22.6-million contract from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to continue operating the program, the Christie administration announced Wednesday.

“This is good news for New Jersey residents," said  Ken Kobylowski, the state's Department of Banking and Insurance commissioner

Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plans (PCIPs) were created in all states in 2010. The program was open to individuals with pre-existing illnesses, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, who had not had health insurance for six months. States had the option of operating their own PCIPs or letting the federal government run the program. New Jersey introduced its State-operated PCIP in August 2010.

The state originally was allocated $141 million to run its program from August 2010 through the end of 2013, when the PCIP program is set to expire.