Business and Economics

Obamacare Reversal Causes A Move for Larger Change

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November 15, 2013 — A White House announcement is giving consumers and insurance companies a case of healthcare whiplash.

President Barack Obama said today he’ll veto a proposal to go beyond his announced Affordable Care Act changes.  He changed the nation’s healthcare program yesterday so insurers can allow customers to keep their health plans for another year, plans that might have been canceled under Obamacare.

The move follows policy cancellation notices and marginal access to the insurance marketplace through the government’s healthcare portal website.

National Association of Insurance Commissioners Jim Donelson is unsure if the President’s changes can work, saying the Administration move could “undermine the new market and lead to higher premiums and disruptions in 2014.”

Today, the U-S House of Representatives approved a plan to help Americans keep existing insurance plans.  It passed HR-3350, the “Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013,” with almost 40 Democrats supporting it to go beyond Obama’s fix.

The President says he’ll veto the measure if it reaches his desk.

After Obama reversed course yesterday about Obamacare, saying Americans who have had their health insurance canceled should be allowed to renew those individual coverage plans even if they do not meet the minimum standards of the new health care law, health industry spokesmen and state insurance commissioners warned that the change could disrupt the marketplace and result in higher prices.

A top Indiana insurance official says a state legal team is reviewing the details of President Obama’s announcement that Americans should be allowed to renew individual health coverage plans now set for cancellation under the federal health care law.

Chief Deputy Insurance Commissioner Logan Harrison says the Department of Insurance doesn’t yet know whether state regulators have the legal authority to approve reversals of policy cancellations if Indiana residents request them.  He says an agency legal team is closely studying Obama’s proposal.

Harrison also says policy cancellation reversals may not even be practical.  He says it’s a time-consuming process in that takes about a month to file, approve and transfer an insurance policy to the appropriate authorities.

State insurance commissioners are voicing serious concerns about President Obama’s plan to stave off cancellations for people whose individual policies don’t comply with the new health care law.  In a statement, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners warned that the President’s decision to let those policies remain in effect could undermine the new insurance markets being created under his overhaul law. The group says Obama’s proposal could lead to higher premiums and market disruptions next year and beyond.


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