(Bloomberg) — Health plans allowed to continue in 2014 though they don’t comply with new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) rules may be extended for as long as three years, Aetna Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Bertolini told investors.
The Obama administration hasn’t yet decided whether Americans should be able to keep their insurance plans that don’t meet certain coverage requirements in the PPACA, Joanne Peters, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said in an email.
Health insurers told millions of Americans last fall that their existing policies would be canceled because the coverage didn’t include such benefits as maternity care and prescription drugs. The cancellations generated consumer anger and political criticism. President Barack Obama in November announced that states could reinstate the plans for at least a year.
“We don’t know what will happen with keep-what-you-have,” Bertolini said Thursday on a conference call with investors and analysts, referring to Obama’s oft-repeated promise that people with health plans they like could keep them. “There’s some talk out there to have keep-what-you-have continue for three more years.”
The policy affects only Americans who buy insurance coverage for themselves, a market of about 19 million people in 2012, according to U.S. Census data, not those who have coverage through employer-sponsored plans.
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“While we are continuing to examine all sorts of ways to provide consumers with more choices and to smooth the transition as we implement the law, no decisions have been made,” Peters said.