If You Like Your Plan…

You really can keep it (for another year, if your insurance company agrees).

The Prez just announced that insurance companies can (but don’t have to) extend plans in the individual and small-group markets even if they don’t meet the criteria for Obamacare.

Insurers must tell their customers what benefits these plans lack and that they have more alternatives in the Obamacare exchanges, including subsidies for many.  Some people are about to discover their plans don’t cover things like, oh, hospitalization.

So the WH is basically shoveling some of the poop it is thigh-high in and dumping it on insurance companies and state insurance commissioners to deal with.  After all, many of these policies no longer exist and it’s no small task to re-create them.

The legal authority for this?  The Prez is using his “enforcement discretion.”  Yes, they just made that up.


4 comments on “If You Like Your Plan…

  1. danielfee says:

    I think it was a smart move. The pile of poop was created by the insurance companies because they had the ability to continue the grandfathered policies, but chose not to do so. Then to keep the heat off themselves they blamed Obamacare for their own corporate decisions to discontinue these policies. What Obama did today was to put some of the poop in a bag, light it on fire and put it on the insurance companies front porch. So now what do they do? Let it sit there and burn or step in it to put out the fire? 🙂

    • Well, some of the policies they couldn’t grandfather because of the HHS regs, which limited grandfathering considerably. The Administration wanted to get the folks in the individual market onto the exchanges for the thing to work. And if the web site had worked decently, there wouldn’t be as much yelling and screaming about the cancellations. Yes, some people would be unhappy. But lots of people would be thrilled with their new options (and subsidies) if only they could find out about them!

  2. danielfee says:

    As I understand it, only policies that were changed or entered into after the ACA was passed would not be grandfathered. I agree about the website, but what really irks me is when one party attempts to sabotage the ACA for more than 3 years and then feigns outrage that the website is not working perfectly. I know that it doesn’t work well but I have been able to set up an account and research optional plans without much trouble. But the Republicans and media are in another one of their “this is the end of the Obama administration” frenzies.

    • But when HHS did the regs, they did them so that any change would end the grandfathering. They wanted to get rid of these plans, partly because many of them sucked (like not covering any hospitalization, like canceling you once you actually used any insurance, etc.), but mostly to get everyone they could into the exchanges so the whole system would work. It makes sense that insurance companies are going to make changes, like raising co-pays, and thus lose grandfathering. Also, Obama kept saying you can keep your plan long after 2010, so he knew people were signing up for new plans over the past three years that they wouldn’t be able to keep.
      But the Administration knew that the GOP hates the ACA (and Obama himself) and would jump on any failure, so all the more onus on them to get the damn website running well. They had no margin for error. Look, we all know if one person hadn’t been able to sign up on October 1, Fox News would have found him and made him the star of their shows. But the rest of the media wouldn’t have bought into that. The rollout was a genuine disaster, and the Administration deserves the crappy press. Obama couldn’t afford the combination of the website not working and people getting cancelled. It may well be that on January 1, more people will have lost their insurance than will have gained it.
      As for your situation, I’ve read that many people are able to research plans successfully, but can’t take the final step of actually enrolling, especially if they are getting subsidies, which I assume (based on your house with the tower and all your travel) you don’t qualify for. The other interesting thing I read is that of the people who did sign up on the federal exchange, one third of them used paper applications, as if they were signing up for Social Security in the 1930’s.

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