State Insurance Commissoners Comments on Administration’s Proposal to Keep Insurance

NAIC STATEMENT ON PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ANNOUNCEMENT    REGARDING ONE YEAR EXTENSION FOR EXISTING PLANS

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 14, 2013) The following is a statement from NAIC    President and Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon on the Obama    Administration’s announcement regarding policy cancellations and the role    of state insurance regulators.

We share the President’s and Congress’ concerns about policy    cancellations and issues including gaps in coverage that may result from    them, and fully understand the anxiety of the residents of our states who    have received these notices. This anxiety is especially heightened given    the issues with the federal exchange.

For three years, state insurance regulators have been working to adapt    to the Affordable Care Act in a way that best meets the needs of consumers    in each state.   We have been particularly concerned about the    way the reforms would impact premiums, the solvency of insurance companies,    and the overall health of the marketplace.  The NAIC has been clear    from the beginning that allowing insurers to have different rules for    different policies would be detrimental to the overall market and result in    higher premiums.

We have expressed these concerns with the Administration and are    concerned by the President’s announcement today that the federal government    would use its “enforcement discretion” to delay enforcement of the ACA’s    market reforms in 2014 for plans that are currently in effect.  This    decision continues different rules for different policies and threatens to    undermine the new market, and may lead to higher premiums and market    disruptions in 2014 and beyond.

In addition, it is unclear how, as a practical matter, the changes    proposed today by the President can be put into effect.  In many    states, cancellation notices have already gone out to policyholders and    rates and plans have already been approved for 2014. Changing the rules    through administrative action at this late date creates uncertainty and may    not address the underlying issues. We look forward to learning more details    of this policy change and about how the administration proposes that    regulators and insurers make this work for all consumers.

 

About the NAICThe National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S.    standard-setting and regulatory support organization created and governed    by the chief insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of    Columbia and five U.S. territories. Through the NAIC, state insurance    regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and    coordinate their regulatory oversight. NAIC staff supports these efforts    and represents the collective views of state regulators domestically and    internationally. NAIC members, together with the central resources of the    NAIC, form the national system of state-based insurance regulation in the    U.S. For more information, visit www.naic.org.
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