In Stance on Renewal of Old Health Policies, States Run the Gamut

Mr. Obama’s announcement last week came after the political uproar prompted by millions of consumers’ receiving notices that their health plans were being discontinued because they no longer complied with the law.

Many states with low numbers of such cancellations were those that had let insurers temporarily avoid the law’s requirements by offering early renewal of existing plans. Those renewals allowed people to keep their existing plans though next year. The goal was to smooth the transition for consumers, commissioners in those states said.

“It turned out to be a good decision,” said Mike Chaney, the insurance commissioner in Republican-led Mississippi, who said fewer than 500 people in his state received notice of discontinued policies because he encouraged the major insurers to offer the option of renewing for an additional year.

Mr. Chaney said insurers could have chosen to cancel policies in his state anyway, but “I would have hammered them if they did.”

NYT
11/20/13