Obama, State Insurance Regulators To Discuss Cancellation ‘Fix’
On Wednesday, President Obama is scheduled to meet with representatives and members of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to discuss a series of problems that have plagued the rollout of the Affordable Care Act in recent weeks, Reuters/Yahoo! News reports.
Among the items that are slated to be on the meeting agenda are the cancellation of some consumers' health policies and the administrative "fix that Obama unveiled last week, as well as the enrollment issues facing the federal health insurance exchange website (Rampton, Reuters/Yahoo! News, 11/19).
Under Obama's plan, insurers in 2014 would be allowed to continue to sell policies even if they do not meet minimum coverage requirements under the Affordable Care Act. The plan -- which ultimately will be implemented by insurers and state regulators -- triggered a debate among stakeholders and insurers, who argued that it would increase premiums and jeopardize the newly reformed market.
On Friday, President Obama and several White House advisers convened a meeting with 15 insurance executives to discuss implementation strategies for the fix. They conferred about HealthCare.gov and a proposal to allow insurers to enroll consumers directly into plans. The executives unanimously agreed after the meeting that they are willing to work with the Obama administration to address the cancellation issue, while protecting the financial viability of the new market (California Healthline, 11/18).
However, state regulators at Wednesday's meeting are likely to raise concerns that allowing consumers to keep their current coverage would cause chaos in the marketplace by changing premiums that already have been set, The Hill's "Healthwatch" reports.
Last week, NAIC President Jim Donelon said the policy change "threatens the solvency of the system and it threatens to spike the cost to policy holders across the board" (Easley, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 11/19).
Meanwhile, a senior White House official ahead of Wednesday's meeting said, "We are looking forward to ongoing work with the state insurance commissioners to make sure that consumers across the country understand their options and rights under the health insurance law" (Reuters/Yahoo! News, 11/19).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.