Business and Economics

President’s Reversal Causing Policy Reviews

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November 14, 2013 — After President Barack Obama reversed course today, 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 are warning 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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