In response to millions of irate health consumers and considerable political uproar, President Obama announced today that individuals who are currently covered by an existing health insurance policy will not be required to switch to an Affordable Care Act-compliant plan for a year.
This breaking news comes on the heels of the announcement of the miniscule number of people who were able to enroll in a health plan using the health exchanges, as well as the news that some 5 million people had already received (or would soon be) cancelation notices from their current carriers. Obama freely admits to having dropped the ball on this aspect of the Affordable Care Act, saying in a news conference that, “We fumbled the rollout on this health care law.”
What This Means to You
If you are currently covered by a health plan that does not meet the federally mandated requirements under the Health Care Reform Laws, your existing policy could continue to cover you and your family one year longer than originally thought. Therefore, you may be able to delay enrolling in an ACA plan until 2014. If you want to have an ACA-approved policy, you can choose that too.
There are some potential issues surrounding this change and the effects of it are not yet known. For example, President Obama is allowing people to keep their current coverage, and allowing insurance companies to continue to offer plans that do not adhere to all of the requirements of ACA plans. However, this does not mean that insurance companies are required to continue to provide coverage on 2013 plans.
The flip side, though, is that insurance companies who offer health plans that are not in compliance with Health Care Reform laws may be allowed to deny you coverage for a pre-existing condition. You will also be ineligible for a premium subsidy or tax credit if you choose a non-compliant plan, regardless of your income or the size of your household.
You can visit the ABC News website for more information regarding President Obama’s decision.
How Does This Affect The Affordable Care Act?
How this news is going to impact the Affordable Care Act overall is hard to predict at this point. If nothing else, it shows that President Obama is finally admitting to the problems that the rest of the nation has been aware of since the rollout of the health care exchanges.
Only time will tell what the end result of this first year of Health Care Reform is going to be. For most people, the fact that they may be able to keep their current insurance or enroll in a similar plan is definitely good news. If you have already received cancellation from your current carrier, we can help you find a similar plan.
As the different insurance carriers weigh in with their decision regarding whether they will continue to offer similar coverage or rescind previously sent cancellations, we will keep you informed. More information is rolling in every minute, and we will continue to help make navigating health care insurance easy for you.
Wiley Long is President of HSA for America, and a passionate advocate for consumer-based solutions that will improve price transparency and lower health insurance and medical costs for people purchasing individual and family health insurance plans.