Insurance executives iffy about possible fixes to canceled policies

Nov. 16, 2013 at 9:14 AM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Insurance company executives say they have mixed feelings about a proposed fix to the new healthcare law after a White House meeting with President Obama.

Friday's meeting came a day after the president announced insurers could continue coverage for customers whose policies were being canceled because they did not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, The New York Times reported Saturday.

Many of the executives, from more than a dozen of the top U.S. insurance firms, said they were angry Obama had not consulted with them before the announcement. However, they said they were willing to work with the administration to fix the cancellation issue while maintaining the healthcare marketplaces.

They did not say how that might be done. Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans, would only say the meeting had been "very productive."

The executives told Obama his plan might actually cause higher insurance prices beginning in 2015 because younger, healthier people with cheaper insurance could choose to keep those plans.

Such events would skew the mix of customers in the insurance marketplaces, which require a mix of age groups to keep rates low.

White House spokesman Jay Carney acknowledged making the president's changes would be challenging, "but we believe there is time, and we believe it's a solution to a problem that has clearly arisen that the president wants addressed."

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