In NY Insurers Probably Can’t Revive Cancelled Plans Even If They Wanted To

It looks like health insurers in New York state aren’t going to revive policies that were cancelled because of the bureaucratic nightmare it would entail. But even if they wanted to, they say they can’t do so legally, despite what President Obama said last week.

“Just trying to go back and recreate a product that you’ve eliminated is not something that plans are looking forward to with great enjoyment,” said Leslie Moran, vice president of the New York Health Plan Association.

Insurers, she said, have already sunk a year’s worth of work into creating and marketing the new ACA-compliant policies and getting rates approved with state regulators. Reactivating the old ones would mean rushing a reworked rate structure through a regulatory process that normally takes months. Insurers would then have to contact tens of thousands of New Yorkers whose old policies had been canceled and hurry them through enrollment.

It might also mean getting legislative approval. New York lawmakers attached language to the state budget earlier this year prohibiting the sale of any policies declared substandard under federal law. Insurance company lawyers are interpreting that to mean that a change in law would be needed for the eliminated policies to be restored. (Read More)

Well, there is a legislative change to the law pending, but President Obama says he will veto it and Senate Democrats refuse to bring it up for a vote.

Here in New York it isn’t really too much of an issue because health insurance prices were already through the roof, so people should be able to find comparably-priced policies under Obamacare. But who knows if those new policies will let them keep their doctors?