Insurers, States Unhappy with Health Care Policy Switch


Igor Dimovski/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — By trying to reestablish his trustworthiness with the American public, President Obama might have wound up ruining his credibility with the health insurance industry.

Obama’s decision to allow people to keep policies that were cancelled because they didn’t meet the minimum standards of the Affordable Care Act threatens to destabilize the market, insurers grumbled after the president’s announcement Thursday.

The chief complaint is that fewer people, especially the young and the healthy, will feel compelled to sign up for coverage, which will potentially cost the industry billions of dollars.

As a result of the policy switch, health insurance premiums might increase in 2015 for those who bought coverage through the ACA.

Already rebellions are brewing.  Since states will still decide which plans can and can’t be sold, Washington state insurance commissioner Mike Kreidler said Thursday, “We will not be allowing insurance companies to extend their policies.”

Arkansas state insurance commissioner Jay Bradford said he won’t comply either.  In a further slap to the president, both commissioners are Democrats.

On Friday, Obama will meet with representatives from the insurance industry.

A White House official told ABC News, “Today CEOs from across the health insurance industry will be meeting with President Obama and senior administration officials to discuss ways to work together to help people enroll through the Marketplace and efforts to minimize disruption for consumers as they transition to new coverage.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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