Margaret Talev and Alex Wayne
December 20, 2013
Hundreds of thousands of people whose health plans are being canceled because their coverage doesn’t meet Obamacare rules will be exempt next year from the U.S. mandate that all Americans carry medical insurance.
People losing coverage will now be allowed to buy bare-bones “catastrophic” insurance that the law usually limits to those younger than age 30, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services saidyesterday. Others can opt out completely without the threat of the fines being imposed next year on the uninsured as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The change will affect fewer than 500,000 people as a Dec. 23 deadline looms to purchase policies for coverage that starts Jan. 1, according to Obama administration figures. Insurers said the exemptions may keep younger, healthier people from buying new coverage through Obamacare, a demographic that is needed to bring balance to the new government-run insurance marketplaces.
“This latest rule change could cause significant instability in the marketplace and lead to further confusion and disruption for consumers,” Karen Ignagni, the president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s Washington-based lobbying group, said in an e-mail from a spokesman.
This article was posted: Friday, December 20, 2013 at 11:45 am