The Obama administration is launching a special coverage program for uninsured Americans with medical problems this week.
But here's the catch: Premiums will be a stretch for many, even after government subsidies to bring rates close to what healthier groups of people are charged.
And $5 billion that Congress allocated to the program through 2013 could run out well before that.
An administration official said the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan will begin accepting applications in many states on July 1, with coverage available as early as August 1. Consumers can check availability in their states on a new website, healthcare.gov, starting Thursday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the administration's announcement later this week.
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