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Despite Obama's Proposal, California Health Insurers Want to 'Stay the Course'

Nov 14, 2013

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Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California health insurers don’t like President Obama’s proposal to allow people to stay on health plans that don’t meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act next year. But as Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone tells us, the state’s Insurance Commissioner supports the President. 

The California Association of Health Plans says delaying the policy cancelations will have the exact opposite effect of what the law intended. It says, Covered California will wind up insuring the people with more health problems, and health care costs will go up. Patrick Johnston with the plans says the federal law is working just fine in California. 

Johnston: “There’s no reason to turn back to a time when people had policies with inferior benefits compared to what will occur under the new law.” 

California’s Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones doesn’t agree with the industry, he agrees with the president. He wants insurers to notify customers they have the option to renew existing policies. Jones says he doesn’t have the legal authority to force that. 

Jones:  “But I will do everything within my power to urge that California’s insurance companies and HMOs follow the President’s call, and give existing policyholders the opportunity to renew policies into 2014.”