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CA Rejects Fix, As Have NY, MA WA, MN, VT, RI

From an unfazed Associated Press:

Covered California Health Exchange Board Upholds Cancelling 1M Policies

November 21, 2013

SACRAMENTO  – The board overseeing California’s health insurance exchange voted unanimously Thursday to stick with its current year-end deadline of phasing out more than 1 million individual health insurance policies that fail to meet requirements of the federal health care overhaul, turning aside a plea by President Barack Obama to let those policies continue.

Look how gently AP puts this news.

In voting 5-0, Covered California board members said allowing the older polices to continue would undermine the new insurance marketplaces. Those policies are being ended because they do meet the more extensive requirements for essential benefits under the federal Affordable Care Act.

You see? They are not extending these plans for Californians own good.

By the way, the AP can’t be bothered to mention it, but according to America’s Health Insurance Plans, an industry lobby group, New York, Washington, Minnesota, Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have already said they are refusing Obama’s ‘fix.’ While 12 states have agreed to his ‘request.’

“There’s no way to make the federal law work without this transition to ACA-compliant plans,” board member Susan Kennedy said. “Delaying the transition isn’t going to help anyone; it just delays the problems. I actually think that it’s going to make a bad situation worse if we complicate it further.”

She’s right, you know. Still, delaying the pain might help the Democrats in the 2014 elections. And that’s really all that matters.

The state insurance commissioner has said that 1.1 million Californians are receiving notices that their current individual health insurance policies will be discontinued in 2014, a deadline previously agreed to by the exchange and insurers…

And most of those policies are for more than one person. So the number of Californians losing their insurance because of Obama-Care is probably well over 2 million.

Charles Bacchi, executive vice president of the California Association of Health Plans, said higher premiums for some consumers are inevitable, “whether it’s today, whether it’s three months from now or whether it’s next year.” But he said a delay in the policy cancellations was unnecessary because California’s marketplace website is operating pretty much as planned…

The fury over these cancellations has nothing to do with the websites not working, Mr. Bacchi.

No matter what action the board had taken Thursday, Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee said the state cannot force any insurance companies to extend their already expired plans.

Not until the Landrieu bill is passed, anyway.

Because of the confusion over cancellations, the board on Thursday also extended the deadline to purchase an insurance policy for coverage to start in the new year, from Dec. 15 to Dec. 23. The deadline to make the first payment on that policy was extended four days, to Jan. 5.

So now even states can change the Law Of The Land! Who knew?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, November 22nd, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

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