WASHINGTON Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is right not to allow canceled health insurance plans to be extended into 2014, even though it means turning down President Obama’s offer.
The president made the offer to the states because he is under political attack for the breakdown of the federal Internet marketplace for health insurance. The state of Washington has not had those problems. It has been one of the top states in the nation for selling new coverage. It has its own Internet marketplace, which has mostly worked.
Some 290,000 people in this state have had their old policies canceled. Many of them are angry about it. But under the Affordable Care Act, they were bound to be canceled. They are supposed to buy coverage that complies with the act. And since Oct. 1, they have been able to do that by logging on to wahealthplanfinder.org
Kreidler’s office and the insurance carriers went through a lot of work to design, approve and price the plans now for sale on the state exchange for the new year. It’s already mid-November. The discontinued plans have not been submitted for approval for 2014. They are not priced. The new plans are priced for 2014 on the assumption that the old plans will be gone, and that uninsured persons will be required to buy one of the new ones. To change all the assumptions now would throw the market in Washington into chaos.
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And it’s not in chaos. Not here.