Government to Lower Prices, Ease Rules on Health Plans for People With Preexisting Conditions

The Obama administration, expanding a program created by the new healthcare law, moved Tuesday to make health insurance more affordableand accessible for Americans who have been denied coverage because they are sick. Across the country, the federal government is reducing premiums on special coverage available to uninsured people with preexisting conditions such as cancer or diabetes. And the administration is loosening restrictions on who can sign up for so-called preexisting condition insurance plans. These plans were created by the health overhaul that President Obama signed last year. They are meant to provide temporary aid to sick Americans until 2014, when insurance companies will no longer be allowed to deny coverage to people who are sick. But the number of people signing up for these plans has lagged, in part because of high premiums and stringent eligibility guidelines.

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