Yesterday President Obama held a national news conference in which he apologized for “fumbling” the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — otherwise known as “Obamacare”.
In addition to his apology, the President suggested a fix for the millions of Americans whose current policies are being canceled by their health insurance carrier.
The Proposed Fix
The proposed fix involves letting people hold on to their non-ACA-compliant health insurance plans for another year, maintaining their current coverage into 2014.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you may find yourself scratching your head wondering — as we did when the news first broke — isn’t this already being done through the insurance carriers’ offers of early renewal?
The answer is YES — in certain states, including right here in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
Some states, however, prohibited early renewal from the outset and now must quickly decide how to react to the President’s proposal.
Interestingly, in those states where early renewal was prohibited, the initial reaction is split. Insurance commissioners in some states, for example Washington and Arkansas, have already said no to the proposal, stating that allowing early renewal will undermine the health of the market. Other states, for example California, have recommended the fix go into effect immediately.
For a good explanation of the states’ reactions click here to read an article published in the Atlantic Wire.
Obama Says Insurance is Complicated to Buy
In addition to acknowledging the technological challenges and glitches surrounding the online federal marketplace (healthcare.gov), President Obama said in the news conference, “what we’re also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy.”
Uh … yes, it is!
Purchasing insurance is not as simple as booking an airplane trip or renting a car. The many options and variables are complex and confusing.
Although it is good to hear our President acknowledging this fact, it does kind of make us scratch our heads again. Yes, we know that. That is why brokers like Virginia Medical Plans are here!
What To Do Now?
We are advising our clients in Maryland, Virginia, and DC to stay the course. Carriers in these states have already, for the most part, offered early renewal. We don’t expect that to change.
But if you too have discovered that health insurance is complicated to understand and buy, then please, give us a call. It is what we do and we are good at it! With over 20 years of experience, we can help you select the best available plan for your situation.
Although we are also somewhat at the mercy of the technological glitches of the online federal system, we can at least help you understand your options and determine how to move forward.
Give us a call!
Please be patient as we manage a high volume of calls and emails.