Seven States Decline to Comply With Obama’s Policy Change on Insurance Cancellations; AIS E-Alert Offers Full Analysis of States’ Reactions

The seven states not complying with the policy change announced Nov. 14 — Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont and Washington state — offer differing explanations as to why, detailed in Atlantic Information Services’ recent E-News Alert.

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Washington, DC (PRWEB) November 20, 2013

Of the 51 insurance commissioners across the U.S. including Washington, D.C., seven have now said that they will not comply with President Obama’s Nov. 14 policy change on insurance cancellations resulting from the Affordable Care Act. An E-News Alert sent by Atlantic Information Services (AIS) on Nov. 15, updated on Nov. 19, offers a full breakdown of states’ responses to the policy change. Subscribers to AIS’s health business newsletters — including Health Plan Week, Inside Health Insurance Exchanges and AIS’s Health Reform Week — receive E-News Alerts whenever important news breaks.

Under the regulatory fix announced last week, “issuers may choose to continue coverage that would otherwise be terminated or cancelled....Under this transitional policy, health insurance coverage in the individual or small group market that is renewed for a policy year starting between January 1, 2014, and October 1, 2014, and associated group health plans of small businesses, will not be considered to be out of compliance with the market reforms,” according to a letter CMS sent to state insurance commissioners.

Leaders in the states not complying gave varying reasons for their decisions. “To change course at this time, and delay certain market reforms,” Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner Joseph Murphy said Nov. 18, “could cause confusion and significant market disruption.” Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton (D) and Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler (D) both said that enforcing the policy change would result in more expensive plans for their states’ residents.

Additionally, Georgia Commissioner Ralph Hudgens (R) said he “lack[s] the statutory authority to force insurers to provide the stop-gap measure that the President created.” Texas Insurance Commissioner Julia Rathgeber said the state will not enforce the policy change because it’s not enforcing the reform law.

Eight states have said they will give insurers the option of continuing to offer plans cancelled because they did not meet new insurance plan requirements. Another five states — Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Wisconsin — said they had already allowed insurers to renew plans through 2014 to avoid widespread cancellations.

Most of the remaining states said they are still examining the policy change and conferring with insurers.

Visit http://aishealth.com/archive/ealert111513hpw-ref to read the alert in its entirety, including a summary of state insurance commissioners’ responses in other states.


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