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Obama to Allow Sale of Canceled Plans

President Barack Obama
Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images

President Barack Obama says health insurance companies can continue to sell policies canceled under his health care law for at least one more year to existing customers.

Obama is trying to head off a political furor created by a wave of cancellation notices hitting people who buy their coverage individually, as well as some small businesses. Their current plans don’t meet requirements of the new health care law.

President Obama says he hears Americans who are upset about losing their health insurance “loud and clear” and is offering a fix.

The president noted that the first-month enrollment numbers in health care plans under his law are lagging and he isn’t happy about it. He said that “we fumbled the roll-out” of the program. And he vowed to build a better health care system for every American and “get it right.”

White House officials say a letter going out to state insurance commissioners will specify that current plans sold to existing customers will not be considered out of compliance with the health care law in 2014.  The administrative changes are good for just one year, though senior administration officials said they could be extended if problems with the law persist.

While the administration is granting new flexibility, it remains to be seen if state regulators and insurance companies will exercise the option.

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