Can I keep my plan? It depends says the Regence Group which does business in Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Utah.
Fall 2013 promised to be a dynamic time in the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, with the launch of health insurance exchanges and transitioning from current coverage to new ACA-compliant policies for 2014.
As headlines increased about that transition - canceling policies but not coverage - it got even more hectic. President Obama announced Nov. 14 that if you like your health insurance, you can keep it - for another year anyway - if state regulators approve and insurers agree.
Instantly, insurer, broker and human resource phones around the country lit up with people and businesses asking, “Can I keep my plan?”
There isn’t just one answer – each state insurance regulator, and each insurer, can decide differently. The Pacific Northwest/Intermountain region is a sample of what’s happening around the country:
- Idaho: Governor Otter asked insurers to renew 2013 plans through 2014 for individual and small group policyholders.
- Oregon: The state insurance department allows insurers to renew Individuals and small employer 2013 plans through 2014 if they choose; nine insurer are offering that option.
- Utah: Before the president’s announcement, Utah’s state insurance regulator already allowed renewals of 2013 Individual and small group coverage into 2014. In a recent move, the state will further allow small group renewal of non-ACA plans into 2015.
- Washington: The state insurance commissioner decided against renewal of 2013 plans, so insurers are not allowed to offer this option.
Grandfathered plans – those without material changes since ACA passage March 23, 2010 – are exempt from the new benefits and protections required in any 2014 health insurance policy. However, few plans met the tough requirements to remain grandfathered.
Regence is offering renewals through 2014 in those states that allow it. State-specific information is available at Regence.com and from your account executive or agent. We'll continue to help our members understand their choice on and off the exchange, and find the coverage that works best for them.
Regence is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association doing buisness as Regence BlueShield of Idaho, Regence BlueShield in Washington, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon and Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah.
Source: The Regence Group, News Release - 12/12/13