CHA News Article

Covered California Board Upholds Dec. 31 Date for Discontinuing Plans That Don’t Meet ACA Standards
Board also votes to extend enrollment deadline for coverage

During yesterday’s Covered California board meeting, staff presented options for maintaining or extending the deadline for health insurance companies to discontinue plans that don’t meet basic standards required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The discussion followed President Obama’s announcement last week giving state insurance exchanges flexibility on when to end policies that were not grandfathered and are not compliant with the ACA. The board unanimously voted to uphold its Dec. 31, 2013, deadline for contracted health insurance companies to discontinue plans that don’t meet basic standards required under the ACA, citing that extending the deadline offers no benefit to the consumer and could create confusion about accessing affordable health care coverage through Covered California. The exchange said its decision to maintain the original deadline confirms its commitment to transitioning Californians into plans that are ACA-compliant, protecting consumers from double deductibles and stabilizing the risk pool to control costs for consumers beginning in 2014.

The board, consistent with President Obama’s recommendations, also urged Covered California staff to implement helpful tools for consumers currently enrolled in affected plans, to better understand their options.

To that end, Covered California will implement five key strategies to sustain, if not increase, its enrollment momentum and help affected consumers:

  • Extending the enrollment deadline for coverage taking effect on Jan. 1, 2014, from Dec. 15, 2013, to Dec. 23, 2013, and extending the deadline for payments due from Dec. 26, 2013, to Jan. 5, 2014. 
  • Establishing a telephone hotline for consumers to resolve enrollment questions. The hotline, (855) 857-0445, will be available beginning Monday, Nov. 25.
  • Sending information directly to nearly 1.13 million affected individuals, providing clear options for coverage. The information will be sent from Covered California and each individual’s current insurance provider.
  • Collecting and reporting data, on a regular basis, showing the impacts of conversion for individuals.
  • Engaging consumers in their communities through the thousands of Certified Insurance Agents, Certified Enrollment Counselors and Certified Educators now deployed statewide.

To view a recording of yesterday’s Covered California board meeting, visit www.healthexchange.ca.gov/BoardMeetings/Pages/Default.aspx.

Resources:

Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight Transition Policy
Presentation – California Center for Information and Insurance Oversight Transition Policy
Policy Cancellation Transition Policy Letter from Dave Jones to Peter Lee
Policy Cancellation Transition Policy Letter from Gary Cohen (CMS) to Insurance Commissioners
Policy Cancellation Transition Policy Letter from Dave Jones to Diana Dooley

 

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