Oregon anticipated Obama's announcement and issued their decision yesterday. Or is the Commissioner racist?
11/12/13, "Oregon insurance commissioner says state won't delay 2013 health coverage cancellations," oregonlive.com, Nick Budnick
"State regulators have rejected an idea
to push back the cancellation dates of more than 140,000 Oregonians' health
insurance policies despite public confusion and momentum among California officials
and some national Democratic Party leaders to do so.
Cancellations of policies around
the country due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have sparked
a national furor as many consumers have found they'll pay higher premiums in
On Tuesday former President Bill Clinton publicly called for changing the
law to let people keep their health coverage and was quickly echoed by some
Congressional Democrats. Meanwhile, California regulators have pushed back two
insurers' cancellation dates, citing lack of adequate warning to consumers.
But despite confidential discussions over the last week between insurance
executives and top state officials of
potential changes that included a mandatory three-month delay of cancellations, Oregon Insurance
Commissioner Laura Cali has decided
against the idea for now due to logistical difficulties.
In an already confusing time, "we think that
adding more communication, different options, changing dates could possibly be
confusing and actually I think make this more difficult," Cali said.
always had the option to leave existing health policies in place through March
31, but most chose Dec. 31 instead, state officials say.
The Oregon meetings focused on
how carriers could assist a backup plan to process Cover Oregon application
forms manually instead of online. People must enroll by Dec. 15 to have
coverage in place by Jan. 1, so the state is scrambling to help people complete
applications to the state's hobbled health exchange, which offers income-based
tax credits and other subsidies.
But in a meeting last week some
insurers expressed interest in giving more time to insurance consumers across
the market – not just those interested in Cover Oregon. Currently, most policies will be canceled Dec. 31 because they don't meet new federal standards. But
some insurers were hoping to push the date back to March 31, and the group
discussed whether the state should make it mandatory.
Other insurers pushed back on the idea. "I really got a
range of feedback from a number of carriers about this," Cali said.
Oregon Health Authority Director Bruce
Goldberg, who participated in the meetings, said changes in insurer networks
and deductibles made it hard to consider the move. He said it sounded doable at
first, participants "have been realizing some of the intricacies of making
something like that happen."
Calis said that while the idea is not necessarily dead, "I think right now we have a responsibility to the broader
market," adding that some consumers are already shopping on the 2014 market and
"like some of their options."
insurance executives declined to comment, citing the confidentiality of the
Tim Raphael, a Kitzhaber
spokesman, declined to provide a comment on the negotiations other than to say
the governor is focused on getting people enrolled in the state's health
exchange and "making the paper application process work."" via Free Republic