Decisions about whether to let consumers keep individual health policies that violate the new federal coverage rules are now in the hands of state insurance commissioners. And a handful of them are not happy about it.
Christopher Condeluci, a former Senate Finance Committee tax counsel who is now a benefits compliance lawyer at Venable, gave that assessment today in an interview.
“Now the state insurance commissioners and the insurance companies are going to look like the bad guys, not the president,” he said.
President Obama announced Thursday that the administration wants to let individuals keep some non-grandfathered policies that violate Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act quality standards.
An administration official told state commissioners in a letter that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will not consider a carrier to be out of compliance with PPACA if it lets an individual or small group renew a policy that was in force Oct. 1 any time between Jan. 1, 2014, and Oct. 31, 2014.
The wording of the letter means that commissioners will have to decide what the rules will be in their states, Condeluci explained.
Commissioners seem to be divided on the new rule.
Jim Donelon, president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, said he opposes the move and believes that changing the rules will throw off carriers’ actuarial projections.