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Idaho allows carriers to reinstate insurance plans

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho will let insurance carriers reinstate coverage for thousands of people who were due to have policies canceled under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter said Tuesday he's asked insurance carriers to consider reinstating coverage for individuals and small businesses. But Otter said he won't require it because he's “not going to tell them how to run their business.” Amid criticism last month over canceled policies, President Obama said he'd allow insurance companies to keep selling old plans to people for another year — even if the coverage didn't meet requirements of his 2010 health law. Across the nation, states are coming to different conclusions about whether to follow Obama's lead. For instance, in Washington, regulators declined to allow policies to be renewed for another year.

Click below for Otter's full announcement, in which he says, “If they can see their way clear, I hope they’ll consider reinstating those policies.” Blue Cross of Idaho immediately announced that it will allow its individual and small-group customers that option.


C.L. “Butch” Otter

GOVERNOR

 

NEWS RELEASE

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                                        

December 3, 2013                                                                                                                         

 

GOVERNOR OTTER ASKS HEALTH INSURANCE CARRIERS TO CONSIDER REINSTATING COVERAGE

 

(BOISE) – Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter asked Idaho health insurance carriers today to consider reinstating coverage for individuals and small businesses whose policies were terminated as a result of Obamacare requirements that take effect January 1.

 

“We’re not going to tell them how to run their business. I proposed and the Legislature enacted a state-based healthcare insurance exchange law that was designed to maximize flexibility for consumers and carriers under Obamacare,” the Governor said. “If they can see their way clear, I hope they’ll consider reinstating those policies. But I’m not going to add another layer of government restrictions on the marketplace.”

 

It became clear soon after the launch of the federal Health Insurance Marketplaces that the rules of Obamacare were inconsistent with the President’s repeated promise that enrollees could opt to keep their existing coverage and provider networks. In response to public outcries, the Obama administration gave individual states the option of allowing carriers to temporarily reinstate policies that were cancelled for failure to meet “essential health benefits package standards.”

 

Governor Otter said he talked with carriers about their options, studied the approaches being taken in other states and opted today to ask insurance companies to continue coverage. “I’m confident they’ll act in the best interest of their customers.”

 

Any Idaho residents whose existing policies have been terminated or are scheduled to be terminated as a result of Obamacare coverage requirements should contact their chosen carrier or the Idaho Department of Insurance for more information.

 

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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