California Healthline Daily Edition

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Obama’s Policy Extension Unlikely To Affect Many in California

According to the California Department of Insurance, most state residents whose health plans were canceled because they do not comply with the Affordable Care Act's minimum coverage standards will not be affected by President Obama's two-year extension of an administrative fix allowing consumers to keep such coverage, the San Jose Mercury News reports (Seipel, San Jose Mercury News, 3/7).


In November 2013, Obama announced a plan that would allow insurers in 2014 to continue selling insurance plans even if they do not meet the law's requirements.

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones (D) urged Covered California to implement Obama's proposal.

However, Covered California's board unanimously decided not to allow insurers to continue selling policies that do not meet the ACA's minimum coverage requirements.

On Wednesday, the Obama administration announced new delays and changes to the ACA, including a two-year extension of the administrative fix allowing individuals to keep health plans that do not meet the law's minimum coverage standards (California Healthline, 3/6).

How Extension Could Affect California

California law states that after Jan. 1, 2014, insurance policies that are noncompliant under ACA standards cannot be sold or renewed. However, the state Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown (D) could change the law to follow Obama's two-year extension, according to the Mercury News.

Janice Rocco, deputy commissioner of health care policy at DOI, said that "very few" of the 1.1 million state residents whose plans have been canceled would benefit from such an extension because insurers already have been required by state law to only sell or renew ACA-compliant plans.

However, Rocco said small businesses with health plan renewal dates at the end of this year potentially could benefit from an extension (San Jose Mercury News, 3/7).

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