White House Announces Transition Policy for Canceled Health Plans

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Experient Health explains White House transition policy for canceled health plans in latest blog post.

Experient Health has experienced professionals who help guide individuals through buying an Individual Health Insurance Plan.

The White House announced a transition policy for canceled health plans, according to Experient Health, the health insurance arm of the Virginia Farm Bureau. Experient Health detailed the announcements and explained its effects in its latest post in a Blog series on health care reform.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes key reforms that create new coverage standards for health insurance policies, beginning in 2014. For example, effective for 2014 plan years, the ACA imposes new modified community rating standards and requires individual and small group policies to cover a comprehensive set of benefits.

Over the last few months, millions of Americans received notices informing them that their health insurance plans are being canceled because they do not comply with the ACA’s reforms.

President Obama has received criticism that these cancellations go against his assurances that if consumers have a plan that they like, they can keep it. Both Republican and Democrat members of Congress have been advocating changes to the ACA to resolve the cancellation issue.

Responding to pressure from consumers and Congress, on Nov. 14, 2013, President Obama announced a new transition policy for 2014. Under the new policy, individuals and small businesses whose coverage has been canceled (or would be canceled) because it does not meet the ACA’s standards may be able to re-enroll or stay on their coverage for an additional year.

However, this one-year reprieve may not be available to all consumers. Because the insurance market is primarily regulated at the state level, state governors or insurance commissioners will have to allow for the transition relief. Also, health insurance issuers are not required to follow the transition relief and renew plans, and have expressed concern that the change could disrupt the new risk pool under the federal and state Health Insurance Marketplaces.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) outlined the transition policy in a letter to state insurance commissioners.

For 2014, health insurance issuers may choose to continue coverage that would otherwise be terminated or canceled due to the ACA’s reforms, and affected individuals and small business may choose to re-enroll in the coverage.

Under this transitional policy, health insurance coverage in the individual or small group market that is renewed for a policy year starting between Jan. 1, 2014, and Oct. 1, 2014 (and associated group health plans of small businesses), will not be considered to be out of compliance with specified ACA reforms if certain conditions are met.

According to HHS, it will consider the impact of the transition relief in assessing whether to extend it beyond the specified time frame.

The transitional relief is not available to grandfathered plans because these plans are not subject to most of the ACA’s market reforms. According to President Obama, the transition relief is an extension of the grandfathered plan rules to additional health insurance policies.

Learn more about transition relief and notice requirements here.

ABOUT EXPERIENT HEALTH:

For years, Experient Health, a Virginia Farm Bureau company, has helped people find the right insurance coverage and get the most for their health care dollars. The Richmond, Va.-based group is dedicated to providing high quality health insurance options to customers in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC. As a result, its consultants, with an average of more than 20 years experience, are intimately familiar with the states’ provider networks, products and regulations.

Representing the top national insurance carriers, Experient Health provides customers with multiple policy options designed to meet wellness needs and financial requirements.

Experient Health grew out of Virginia Farm Bureau and is a “hometown agency” in that it operates a network of more than 100 offices. However, it boasts the resources and technology of larger firms.

Consultants are available online, via phone and through their offices.

Learn more at http://www.experienthealth.com, utilize the online health insurance quote calculator or contact a consultant directly at 855.677.6580.

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Stephanie Heinatz
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Brad Spence
Experient Health
since: 04/2013
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