San Jose Mercury News: Obamacare extension of nonconforming health plans won’t affect many Californians

By Tracy Seipel

The Obama administration’s announcement Wednesday that allows a two-year extension for individual health insurance policies that don’t conform to the health care law applies nationwide — but only to states that agree to the plan, according to a spokeswoman with the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

In California, even if the state Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown approve the extension by changing current law, most of the 1.1 million Californians whose non-conforming plans were canceled last year wouldn’t likely benefit, a state Insurance Department official said Thursday.

Janice Rocco, deputy commissioner of health care policy, said there are “very few people left” with pre-2014 policies who would be able to take advantage of Wednesday’s decision because state law says that after Jan. 1, 2014, insurance plans that don’t comply with the Affordable Care Act cannot be sold or renewed.

But if lawmakers agree to change the law, she said, small businesses with renewal dates at the end of 2014 could be given extensions.

Continue reading here: http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_25290977

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