WA won't let old insurance policies be extended




Posted on November 14, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 14 at 9:30 PM

SEATTLE (AP) -- Washington State’s insurance commissioner says President Obama's proposal on old insurance policies isn't a good deal for Washington citizens.
Commissioner Mike Kreidler said on Thursday he won't be allowing insurance companies to extend their old policies that didn't meet the requirements of federal health care reform.
An estimated 290,000 Washington residents have received notices that their old insurance policies will be canceled.

READ: Obama: People can keep old insurance plans
Kreidler, a Democrat, says all of them can get better coverage on the new health care exchange. He says at least half of them will qualify for a subsidy to help them pay the premium.

Many people in the state that are trying to get coverage online keep getting stuck because of problems on the website. State leaders will not offer a new extension even though the site is struggling.

Curt Fackler trains many of the people in Eastern Washington helping residents sign up for coverage. He said insurance companies may not be able to make that change once they have cancelled service.

“These are official contracts so you can’t just say you need to extend a contract,” said Fackler.

Enrollment numbers have been disappointing across the country. Experts said Washington has the third largest number of people signed up.  
President Obama announced Thursday he would allow insurance companies to keep selling their old plans to people whose policies were going to be cancelled. But that decision requires state approval.