Health Insurers Not Thrilled With Obama's Quick Fix

And some states are refusing to implement it
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 16, 2013 3:05 PM CST
President Barack Obama makes a statement in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, before the start of a meeting with health insurance companies.   (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – Following a meeting on President Obama's health plan fix yesterday, insurers said they'd work to maintain health exchanges and avoid cancellations—but they were frustrated. Though the president of the industry trade organization cited a "very productive" meeting, plenty of execs were annoyed that Obama hadn't talked to them about the new plan before he announced it, the New York Times reports. "We went forward with the intent that this was the law of the land," an insurance VP tells USA Today. "Nobody was focused on the existing plans." Executives also related to Obama their concern that the plan could drive consumer costs up.

That's because younger and healthier people—key to keeping premiums down—may now stick with cheaper plans rather than entering the exchanges. Another issue: Some states intend to ignore the fix, leaving thousands of health plans at risk, the Times notes. Washington, Vermont, and Rhode Island are among those saying they won't allow extensions of plans not adhering to ObamaCare standards, according to the Times and Washington Post. Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas will allow renewals, the Post notes, while other states are still deciding (the Post is keeping track). For one thing, it's not clear whether states can "act based on executive order," Louisiana's insurance commissioner says. (Read more President Obama stories.)

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