President Barack Obama on Thursday
announced an administrative “fix” to the Affordable Care Actthat will allow insurers to keep offering current plans for a year, even if they don’t meet certain minimum requirements of the law.
The change is intended to reassure people who have been receiving cancellation notices, as it is aimed at allowing more people to keep their health plans.
The Obama administration laid out the fix in a guidance to state insurance commissioners on Thursday.
The letter, from the Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services, specifies that insurance policies must have been in existence as of Oct. 1, 2013. It encourages state agencies “responsible for enforcing the specified market reforms” to take action to allow plans to continue into 2014.
Insurers have already expressed concern about how the “fix” will affect premiums. Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, released a statement warning that fewer young people and at-risk individuals could now opt not to purchase coverage in the exchanges, causing premiums to rise and offering consumers fewer choices.
“Though this transitional policy was not anticipated by health insurance issuers when setting rates for 2014, the risk corridor program should help ameliorate unanticipated changes in premium revenue,” read the letter, which was signed by Gary Cohen, the director for the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight.
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