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State requests insurance carriers to continue non-renewed health plans

Published On: Nov 15 2013 12:37:01 PM HST

State Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito is requesting that Hawaii’s insurance carriers continue health plans that faced non-renewal by the end of the year.

The request follows President Barack Obama's decision to allow states and insurers to choose which plans to continue as the federal Affordable Care Act is implemented.

The ACA required the inclusion of 10 essential health benefits.  The non-renewed plans did not meet those requirements.  This new decision gives the consumer an opportunity to decide whether they want to stay with their existing plan, regardless of the specified essential health benefits, or opt for a new plan.

"We believe this will help to alleviate some of the concern and frustration over the non-renewals," Ito said. "This is an opportunity for consumers to really look at the available plans and choose the best option for themselves. Whether it is their existing plan or a new ACA plan because it has more benefits, and may actually cost less."

The insurance carriers now have the choice as to whether they want to apply to the Insurance Division to have the existing plans continue.  The Division will expedite the rate review process to meet the proper deadlines.

Insurance companies must now decide whether they will apply to continue those plans.

Those plans would not be available on the Hawaii Health Connector and, therefore, not eligible for tax credits.

The president's decision extends the transition period for the ACA.

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