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Sunday, November 17, 2013

California Considers Its Options On Canceled Insurance Plans

Today's post was shared by Kaiser Health News and comes from www.kaiserhealthnews.org

President Barack Obama’s announcement Thursday that insurers can extend cancelled policies that don’t comply with the health law has prompted conflicting reactions from California insurance regulators and the companies they oversee.

State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said he will urge companies to let more than a million consumers keep their plans for an additional year, fulfilling the president’s promise that people didn’t have to switch policies if they didn’t want to. “The federal government told people in California and throughout the United States that they could stay in their plans,” he said at a press conference Thursday.

But the lobbying group for health plans said its members shouldn’t extend policies that don’t meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The state should “stay the course and transition people into more comprehensive policies,” said Patrick Johnston, chief executive officer of the California Association of Health Plans.

The cancellation notices have caused anger and frustration among consumers and led to growing criticism of Obama and the law.

Covered California, the state’s new insurance marketplace, has contracts with health insurers that sell plans through the state-run website, requiring them to cancel policies that they sell on or off the exchange if they don't meet the law's standards. Those policies will be cancelled by the end of 2013 if they don’t cover...

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