Thursday, March 6, 2014

Kansas Insurance Department will allow companies to extend current policies under new HHS rules

TOPEKA, KAN. — Sandy Praeger, Kansas Commissioner of Insurance, announced today that the Kansas Insurance Department will allow companies selling health insurance in the state to continue to renew policies that don’t meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that went into effect on January 1, 2014.

Under this transitional policy, companies will be allowed to renew certain “non-grandfathered” plans for policy years beginning on or before October 1, 2016.  Non-grandfathered plans are those issued after March 23, 2010, but prior to January 1, 2014.

The decision comes following the announcement Wednesday by the Obama Administration to extend the transitional policy originally announced in November 2013, which allowed the renewal of plans with policy years beginning on or before October 1, 2014.

The insurance department had previously allowed a modified version of the first transitional policy and had advised companies about the decision in December 2013.

“We are telling companies selling health insurance in Kansas today that, at their discretion, they can renew non-grandfathered policies currently in force through the new deadline,” Praeger said. “We still have concerns about the delay and the potential long-term effects on the health insurance market, but the department will give our companies and consumers the flexibility to work through the ACA changes.”

Praeger said that as soon as the federal Health and Human Services announcement about the health care rule came out yesterday, department personnel reached out to the companies to get input.

“Earlier, the department and the companies believed it was in the best interest to phase out non-compliant ACA plans at the end of 2014,” Praeger said, “but with the new announcement we acknowledge the administration’s decision and will comply with the flexibility provided under the extension.”