Updated November 22nd
The President had a huge Mea Culpa moment at the White House. He finally acknowledged all the ACA-related issues with the cancellations, pricing and website. He offered a possible solution; however, please read carefully and between the lines. When the news broke, the headline on television read “Obama allows a year for cancelled policies”. However, three hours later, the headlines have already changed…Obama’s Health Insurance Promise Easier Said Than Kept (ABC News), Obama Offers Fix – Americans may be able to keep their individual insurance plans (money.cnn).
Administratively, I can’t even imagine how this is going to affect everyone. It’s November 15th! Insurance companies already bogged down with ACA rollout would, before the end of the year, need to:
- Determine pricing
- Reinstate plans into their systems
- Mail letters to everyone cancelled detailing the difference in the plans and include pricing
- After letters are sent, wait for responses
- Policies that have been selected as replacements may need to be cancelled and refunded
- Input all changes in the system, collect payment and distribute cards
This timing puts these applications and rollout right in the middle of the December 15th ACA deadline for January 1st insurance.
Keep in mind, however, that all of this can only be done if:
- The Department of Insurance approves these plans, which has to be done state by state.
- The individual insurance company agrees to comply (this is voluntary, not part of the law). Given the administrative burden and time sensitivity, some may choose to opt out.
- Blue Cross is evaluating the situation. “We will continue to work with federal and state agencies on how this approach will be implemented and will comply with any new requirements…We will soon reach out to consumers who may have new options as a result of this announcement.” –Blue Cross announcement 11-14-13 (Updated BCBS, announcement 11-22-13)
If you received a cancellation notice, I suggest that you hold off on any healthcare decisions this weekend. It’s going to take at least until the middle of next week to determine if the state is going to allow these plans and which insurance companies are going to offer them. Update 11-22-13: Illinois Department of Insurance announced it will allow health insurance carriers to renew existing plans with policy holders.
As always, I promise to keep you updated.
Do you have questions about the ACA? Please comment below and I’ll try to answer.