Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Updates Consumers on Individual Policy Cancellations and Renewals
HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Insurance Commissioner Michael Consedine provided the following statement regarding health insurance coverage options for individual Pennsylvanians impacted by the failed launch of the federal health insurance marketplace and health policy cancellations due to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
"The implementation of Obamacare and the failed launch of the federal health insurance marketplace have created significant problems for Pennsylvania consumers.
"Hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians received cancellation notices due to the ACA, which has caused major disruption in the health insurance marketplace. The president's most recent, last-minute announcement has created even more confusion for consumers.
"Our goal remains to seek solutions that will best meet the needs of Pennsylvanians.
"With the immediate needs of Pennsylvanians as his main concern, Governor Corbett tasked my department with facilitating health insurance options with insurance companies, where possible, for those who have seen their individual policies canceled because of the ACA.
"We have asked insurance companies that have not already done so to reach out to consumers so that they may make informed choices. Individuals impacted by these cancellations will soon hear from their health insurance carriers about options to ensure that they have continued coverage. For example, all four of our Blue Plans have agreed to allow current Special Care policyholders the option of continuing that coverage for some period into next year. Continuation of these products will serve as an interim safety net.
"Options for policyholders may differ and may include continuation of their current policies or enrollment in a new ACA-compliant product. Options will be insurance company specific and consumers are encouraged to call their current insurance carrier for information. Insurance companies will have the option to continue individual policies originally set for cancellation.
"This is a Pennsylvania-applied bandage for individuals harmed by the ACA, not a cure for a critically-ailing ACA. Although this bandage may provide temporary relief for some, Pennsylvania will continue to see additional cancellations, rate increases and significant problems due to ACA-driven changes in the insurance marketplace.
"The Insurance Department will continue our efforts to make sure the insurance market remains competitive and minimize any disruptions for the consumer. The governor continues to highlight the need for real, thoughtful and long-term solutions.
"Today's announcement is limited to the individual market. Many small employers took advantage of the early renewal offers in the small group market and, because of this, no insurer has come to us to indicate its intention to offer additional renewals of non-ACA compliant small group products in 2014.
"We will continue to assess the state's options in the small group market and monitor daily changes to the ACA coming out of Washington, D.C. The governor and the department have strong and continued concerns surrounding the legal authority for these latest changes to the ACA.
"Pennsylvania consumers looking for specific information on their insurance policy should call their insurance company directly. Consumers looking for general information or guidance can visit PAHealthOptions.com for updates and information or call our toll-free hotline at 877-881-6388."
Media contacts: Rosanne Placey or Melissa Fox, 717-787-3289
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Insurance