Covered California Undecided About Health Plan Cancellations Fix
On Monday, Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee said exchange officials are hesitant to permit insurers to continue selling policies in 2014 that do not meet the Affordable Care Act's minimum coverage requirements, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Lee said the exchange will decide on the issue by the end of this week (Terhune, Los Angeles Times, 11/18).
About one million individual policyholders in California recently have been notified by their insurers that their current insurance policies will be discontinued at the end of the year because they do not meet minimum coverage requirements under the ACA.
On Thursday, 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.
The plan also would require insurers that extend such plans to inform consumers that more comprehensive coverage options might be available in the health insurance exchanges and to list the benefits they would be going without if they choose to keep their current policies.
On Monday, Lee said, "California is looking very closely to how we respond to the call of the president" (Wayne, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/18).
He said a diverse "risk pool is critical to the ongoing viability and [to] the out-of-the-gate viability of exchanges," adding that extending the sale of policies that do not meet ACA requirements could cause a significant increase in premiums in 2015.
He also said that Covered California is hesitant to leave state consumers with "bad coverage" that doesn't meet the law's minimum coverage requirements.
However, Lee said he sympathizes with consumers who do not want to pay more for health coverage. "Seeing an increase in price -- that is never fun. But we want to make sure consumers know they have choices," he added.
According to the Times, a decision could come during the exchange's scheduled board meeting on Thursday (Los Angeles Times, 11/18).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.