Obama’s Plan Would Allow Policies That Do Not Satisfy ACA in 2014
On Thursday, President Obama announced a plan that would allow insurers in 2014 to continue to sell insurance plans even if they do not meet minimum coverage requirements under the Affordable Care Act, the Wall Street Journal reports.
In recent weeks, millions of consumers have been notified by their insurers that their current insurance policies will be discontinued because they do not meet minimum standards under the ACA.
During an interview with NBC News last week, President Obama said his administration was looking at a "range of options" to address the issue (Lee/Radnofsky, Wall Street Journal, 11/14).
During a speech announcing the plan in the White House briefing room, Obama said, "As I indicated earlier, I completely get how upsetting this can be for Americans. I hear you loud and clear" (Obama speech, 11/14).
Under the new plan, insurers can continue to sell existing plans that do not meet the ACA's minimum coverage requirements in 2014 ("Political Ticker," CNN, 11/14). It 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.
Unlike a GOP sponsored House bill (HR 3350), which is expected to come for a vote on Friday, the administration proposal does not need legislative approval and does not allow insurers to offer plans that do not meet the minimum coverage requirements to new customers (Wall Street Journal, 11/14).
Obama acknowledged that the plan "won't solve every problem for every person, but it's going to help a lot of people." He urged those who have received cancellation notices to visit HealthCare.gov and use the plan comparison tool to shop for more comprehensive coverage.
Obama also said he is open to working with Congress to make other fixes to the ACA. However, he said, "I will not accept proposals that are just another attempt brazen attempt to undermine or repeal the law." He added, "I am not going to walk away from 40 million people without health care" who now have the opportunity to get it for the first time (Obama speech, 11/14).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.