November 14, 2013 — President Obama on Thursday announced a plan that would allow insurers in 2014 to continue to sell individual health plans that do not meet minimum coverage requirements under the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148), the Washington Post reports (Goldstein et al., Washington Post, 11/14).
The announcement came amid increasing criticism from lawmakers, including some Democrats, about the issue of insurers canceling policies that do not meet the law's standards for minimum coverage.
Obama's plan applies to consumers with existing plans that do not meet the ACA's minimum coverage requirements in 2014; it does not allow insurers to sell such plans to new consumers (Epstein/Allen, Politico, 11/14). It also would require insurers that extend such plans to inform consumers that more comprehensive coverage options might be available in the health insurance marketplaces and to list the benefits they would be going without if they choose to keep their current policies.
Unlike a GOP sponsored House bill (HR 3350), which is expected to come for a vote on Friday, the administration proposal does not need legislative approval. The bill would allow insurers to offer plans that do not meet the minimum coverage requirements to new customers (Lee/Radnofsky, Wall Street Journal, 11/14).