Saturday, November 23, 2013

Covered California Won't Extend Insurance Deadline

At LAT, "California won't extend health plans":

Spurning President Obama's call to let insurers extend canceled health policies, California won't allow 1 million policyholders to keep their health plan for another year.

The board of the Covered California health exchange voted unanimously to break with the president and keep its requirement that insurers terminate most individual policies Dec. 31 because the policies don't meet all the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

Officials acknowledged that their decision won't satisfy angry consumers and will mean many of them will pay significantly more for new coverage come January. But they worried that allowing widespread renewals could cripple the rollout of the healthcare law in California just as enrollment is picking up steam.

"We know this transition is difficult and some people will be hurt," Covered California board member Susan Kennedy said. "But delaying the transition won't solve a single problem. I think it will make a bad situation worse if we complicate it further."

The state did offer some modest relief for consumers. The exchange will open a special hotline Monday to address policyholders' questions about cancellations and pushed back the deadline to sign up for January coverage to Dec. 23, about a week later.
Yeah, that'll help.

Hopefully you'll get someone on the line who's not on probation or parole.