Canceled Health Plans Revived in Obamacare Fix - Law and Daily Life
Law & Daily Life - The FindLaw Life, Family and Workplace Law Blog

Canceled Health Plans Revived in Obamacare Fix

Canceled health plans may now be revived under the most recent Obamacare fix. President Barack Obama announced today that health insurance companies may allow individuals with canceled plans to renew them for a year, The Huffington Post reports.

These plans were being canceled because they didn't meet the Affordable Care Act's minimum requirements. This meant possibly tens of millions of folks would've had to scramble to get new insurance coverage; President Obama even apologized for breaking his assurance that Americans would be able to keep their insurance plans, McClatchyDC.com reports.

If you've received a cancellation letter from your insurance company, what does today's announcement mean for you?

Current Policies May Be Extended

Originally, The Affordable Care Act required that insurance plans that didn't meet the law's 10 minimum requirements (which includes maternity care and emergency visits, among others), would be canceled, leaving those with the canceled policies just weeks to find a new one.

Now, under this fix, those who've received cancellation letters (or who are slated to receive them soon) may be able to renew their non-compliant plans after all.

Here's what affected individuals need to know:

  • Your canceled health plan may (or may not) be renewed. This change does not require insurance companies to allow current customers to keep their non-Obamacare-compliant plans. Rather, it gives insurance companies the option to renew these non-compliant plans.
  • New customers can't apply for non-compliant plans. Insurance companies can only extend non-compliant plan coverage for customers currently on those plans. New customers can only apply for health plans that meet the ACA's standards.
  • It's only a one-year extension. If your insurance company continues to offer a non-compliant plan, it can only do so for one year. Affected consumers will still have to upgrade to a new plan in 2014, HuffPo reports.

Are Lawsuits Possible?

This most recent attempt from President Obama addresses just one of many bumps in the road that Obamacare has faced since its rollout last month. The federally run HealthCare.gov has been riddled with glitches as well.

Given all these issues, lawsuits over Obamacare's troubles are not out of the question, Politico reports. For example, the federal government could try to sue for refunds or withhold payments from the private contracting companies that were tasked with setting up the Obamacare exchanges.

However, considering the scores of parties involved, legal action could take years to resolve.

Despite the glitches, though, the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land. For those who may not be interested in reviving their canceled plans, or for those who are looking for health insurance, there's still plenty of time to sign up.

Related Resources: