The Department of Health and Human Services announced this afternoon that health insurance plans that are supposed to be canceled by Obamacare may be sold through October of 2017 in states that approve of the extension. CNBC reports:
The federal government in late 2013, in the midst of the troubled launch of Obamacare, said that people who had bought non-compliant plans in 2013 would be able to keep them through 2014.
At the time, about half of the states allowed their residents to keep non-compliant plans, which the administration had earlier blasted as "junk insurance."
That tamped down, somewhat, outrage among critics who claimed President Barack Obama had lied while promoting his signature health-care reform law, when he had told people they could keep their insurance plans if they wanted under the ACA.
Under the new rule, people who maintain those plans, and who renew them as late as Oct. 1, 2016, will be able to keep them until as late as 2017.
Statutory language in the Affordable Care Act requires the cancellation of all individual health insurance policies issued after the law was passed on March 23, 2010, and further administrative regulations require the cancellation of plans that existed before March 23, 2010 if minor changes had been made to them.
As millions of cancellation notices began piling up this fall--and outrage grew over the president's broken promise that Americans could keep their plans--the administration flouted its regulations and the text of the law to give insurers and states the option to sell plans they were supposed to cancel.
Health industry consultant Bob Laszewski told THE WEEKLY STANDARD at the time that millions of more cancellation notices were expected to arrive right before the 2014 mid-term elections. Today's announcement is designed to avert that crisis and help Democrats make it through November.