The White House is expected to allow health insurance plans not meeting the standards set by the Affordable Care Act to continue to be sold, another major Obamacare delay that would get around plan cancellation notices having to be sent before the midterm elections, The Hill newspaper reported.
Reportedly set to be announced as early as this week, the administration would allow insurers to continue selling insurance plans that don’t meet the law’s standards until at least the end of President Barack Obama’s term in office, and possibly beyond that. There was no indication that Obama would seek congressional authorization, so this would be another unilateral executive action.
Republicans have seized on the pledge from Obama and other Democrats that “if you like your plan you can keep it” going into the November midterms. After millions of health care policies were canceled last fall because they did not meet the minimum standards put forward by the Affordable Care Act, Obama was forced to admit that pledge wasn’t going to hold true for everyone; PolitiFact even named it the biggest lie of 2013.
Last year, Obama announced that he would be working with insurers and the states to allow people to keep their current plans for another year even if those plans did not meet the Obamacare standards. That pushed any cancellations past the 2014 midterm elections, but 90-day notices are required, so notices of pending cancellations would be in the mail well before the November voting.
Neither the White House nor the Department of Health and Human Services immediately responded to inquiries from TheBlaze.
The changes are “imminent,” health insurance industry sources told The Hill.
“I don’t see how they could have a bunch of these announcements going out in September,” an unnamed consultant in the health insurance industry told The Hill. “Not when they’re trying to defend the Senate and keep their losses at a minimum in the House. This is not something to have out there right before the election.”
Obamacare requires insurance companies offer 10 medical benefits that the administration considers essential, such as prescription drug coverage, preventative services, maternity and pediatric care, as well as the controversial contraception mandate. Under the delay, health insurance plans would not have to meet each of these requirements.