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HealthCare Checkup

The Seattle Times health-care team tracks the local impact of the Affordable Care Act.

November 14, 2013 at 12:34 PM

State insurance commissioner rejects Obama’s proposal to extend canceled policies

State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has rejected President Obama’s proposal to allow insurance companies to extend health insurance policies for people who have received notices that their policies will be cancelled at the end of the year.

Within two hours of President Obama’s news conference announcing the proposed administrative fix for Americans upset by their policy cancellations, Kreidler issued a statement rejecting the proposal.

“I understand that many people are upset by the notices they have recently received from their health plans and they may not need the new benefits [in the Affordable Care Act] today,” he said. “But I have serious concerns about how President Obama’s proposal would be implemented and more significantly, its potential impact on the overall stability of our health insurance market.”

“I do not believe his proposal is a good deal for the state of Washington,” Kreidler’s statement continued. “We will not be allowing insurance companies to extend their policies.”

Kreidler said his office estimated that 290,000 people in Washington will need to buy new coverage for 2014 and that at least half of them will qualify for a premium subsidy if they purchase a plan through the state’s online insurance exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder.

“I encourage anyone who is shopping for new health plans — whether you’ve been uninsured or have received a cancellation notice from your insurer — to look at all of your options,” he said.

There are 46 individual health plans for sale on Healthplanfinder and 51 health plans for sale outside the exchange. The deadline to enroll is Dec. 15 for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

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