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California will not allow extensions of cancelled health plans



November 21, 2013
Area(s) of Interest: Access to Care Advocacy 

Covered California has opted to stay the course on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), declining to allow the one-year extension of cancelled health plans asked for last week by President Obama.

The decision, which came during Thursday’s meeting of Covered California’s Board of Directors, places California in the company of a handful of other states, including Washington, Vermont and Minnesota, who will not be allowing the one-year extension of insurance products that fall short of the ACA’s minimum coverage requirements.

California’s Insurance Commission Dave Jones on Wednesday submitted a letter to the exchange board claiming that allowing participating plans to continue offering non-complaint plans would not harm Covered California’s enrollment efforts or California’s implementation of the ACA.

Covered California staff however, argued that such an extension could allow insurers to offer “last minute extensions” in an effort to sway consumers away from competitors, potentially destabilizing Covered California’s risk pool through adverse selection.

As of Tuesday, roughly 80,000 people have enrolled in exchange plans, which are set to take effect in January 2014.

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