Madison - St. Clair Record

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Illinois to allow insurers to extend canceled health insurance policies

By Naomi Lopez Bauman | Nov 26, 2013

Lopez bauman

In an effort to curb the tide of millions of health insurance cancellations as a result of ObamaCare, the president called on state regulators to extend the terminated health insurance policies that were canceled as a result of ObamaCare mandates.

In response, Illinois Department of Insurance Commissioner Andrew Boron announced that the department “will follow President Obama’s Nov. 14 recommendation and allow insurance companies to renew a number of health plans in the individual and small group markets.”

Originally, Section 1251 of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as ObamaCare, stated that individuals will not be required to terminate their insurance coverage under the new law. Simply put, “If you like your health insurance coverage, you can keep it.”

It was a promise repeated over and over by President Barack Obama, as well as by other lawmakers. But the truth is the Obama administration had issued regulations in the summer of 2010 that ensured tens of millions of individual and group policies would be canceled, driving them to enroll in the ObamaCare exchanges.

The regulations were issued on June 17, 2010, in the Federal Register: “… the Departments’ mid-range estimate is that 66 percent of small employer plans and 45 percent of large employer plans will relinquish their grandfather status by the end of 2013.” [Federal Register, vol. 75, No. 116, p. 34552]

Using these 2010 government estimates, Illinois could see a total of 3.5 million people lose coverage within the next two years as a result of these regulations, even with today’s announcement that insurance companies can extend canceled plans. It is also important to point out that, even though insurers have been explicitly told that there will be federal funding to offset their insurance losses as a result of extending canceled policies, they are not required to extend these policies.

Instead of keeping Obama’s repeated promise that “If you like your health plan, you will be able to keep your health plan,” the president and Boron are now offering Illinoisans a new one: “If you like your health plan, you might be able to keep your health plan for one more year … until after the midterm elections.”

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