KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

State Regulators Share Insurance ‘Fix’ Concerns With Obama

In a meeting at the White House Wednesday, a group of state insurance commissioners expressed concerns about President Barack Obama's proposal to extend canceled plans for one year that don't meet the requirements of the health law. Both sides acknowledged that each state must come to its own decision about how to proceed.

The Washington Post: Obama Meets With State Insurance Regulators
State insurance commissioners met Wednesday with President Obama at the White House, where they say he acknowledged that some states were unlikely to implement his proposal to reverse millions of health insurance cancellations. The commissioners shared their own concerns about the workability of his plan, which would give insurers an additional year to sell coverage that does not comply with the Obama health-care law’s regulations (Sun and Kliff, 11/20).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: State Insurance Regulators Meet With Obama On His Proposed Fix For Canceled Health Plans
Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon, president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, says both sides acknowledged the issues are complex and states will come to different decisions. More than 4 million people who buy their own insurance have gotten cancellation notices because their plans don’t meet requirements of Obama’s health law. The president has proposed allowing those customers to keep their existing plans for another year (11/20).

The New York Times: States Are Left To Decide On Health Plan Change
A group of state insurance commissioners emerged from a meeting with President Obama and other federal officials on Wednesday saying that state regulators would continue to decide on their own whether to go along with his recent proposal to let consumers keep older insurance plans for an extra year, even if the plans did not comply with regulations under the new health care law (Abelson and Craig, 11/20).

The Wall Street Journal: Extending Health Plans A Tall Order
Many people whose existing health-insurance policies were canceled due to the new federal health law won't be able to extend them, despite President Barack Obama's request that insurers allow them to do so. Some carriers say they may not or won't reinstate canceled policies because of a lack of time to make changes and other obstacles. Others say the one-year extensions would come with higher rates. At least five states—New York, Washington, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Rhode Island—have rebuffed Mr. Obama, meaning insurers can't reinstate policies there even if they do so elsewhere (Martin, Scism and Radnofsky, 11/20).

The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: Some Insurance Regulators Turn Down White House Invitation
Not everybody hops when they get an invitation to the White House. Several state insurance regulators said “thanks but no thanks” to a planned meeting at the White House Wednesday afternoon with an association representing state insurance-department regulators to discuss difficulties carrying out President Barack Obama’s plan to allow a one-year extension of health insurance policies that were canceled because they don’t comply with the Affordable Care Act, people familiar with the matter said (Scism, 11/20).

Bloomberg: State Insurance Heads Snub Obama On Policy Cancellations
Kansas, North Dakota and other state insurance commissioners snubbed a meeting with President Barack Obama set up to discuss allowing some people to keep medical plans that don’t meet the requirements of the U.S. health law.  Six commissioners e-mailed their counterparts to say they weren’t invited or wouldn’t attend yesterday’s meeting at the White House because of reservations about the one-year reprieve for substandard health plans (Edney and Wayne, 11/21).

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