Updated 11/14/2013 at 6:25pm EST
Currently, news channels and websites are abuzz about President Obama’s announcement to “fix” insurance cancellations. Of course, for anyone paying attention, talk about insurance cancellations has been a hot button issue in the news for the past few weeks.
As Moneynews.com reports: “It’s unclear what the impact of Thursday’s changes will be for the millions of people who have already had their plans canceled. While officials said insurance companies will now be able to offer those people the option to renew their old plans, companies are not required to take that step.”
Is this a SC Obamacare delay?
In South Carolina, the largest population of people losing their current plans are Carolina Care Plan policyholders. In July of 2013, Carolina Care Plan’s parent company, Medical Mutual of Ohio, made the decision to exit the state of South Carolina effective 1/1/2014. Unfortunately, we do not believe the White House “fix” announced today will affect these South Carolina policyholders. Considering that Carolina Care plan is the second largest health insurer for South Carolina, we are somewhat disappointed. It seems highly unlikely that Medical Mutual of Ohio will choose to reverse their exit strategy. Many current Carolina Care Plan policyholders are having difficulty accessing the healthcare.gov website, and for many of these South Carolina residents, a subsidized health insurance plan from the Federal Marketplace is the only available option.
Our answer to “Is this a SC Obamacare delay?” – unfortunately not, for many South Carolina residents.
SC Obamacare Delay Update from CIGNA – 11/14/2013 – 6:24 PM EST
President Obama announced today that insurers may renew certain individual and small group health plans for 2014 without having to comply with new Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2014. Eligible policies include those with an effective date betweenJanuary 1 and October 1, 2014 that would have otherwise been terminated.
According to the President, this change is “targeted” to those individuals who are in these policies today; it does not allow the sale of non-compliant plans to people not currently in plans.
With this decision, state governors and insurance commissioners may allow insurers to continue to offer plans that may have otherwise been cancelled until the end of 2014.
Insurers that elect to take advantage of the transitional policy are required to:
- Notify enrollees about ACA requirements that are not met by the coverage they are renewing
- Notify enrollees about the new health plan options and tax credits available on the public Marketplaces to those who qualify
Cigna is already working with all of our comprehensive individual medical customers to give them the choice of keeping their present plans.
Cigna’s Starbridge and Fundamental Care limited-benefit programs are not eligible for extension under this guidance. We are continuing to sunset these programs on December 31, 2013, as previously communicated.
Cigna is not active in the Small Group market.