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Administration Delays Deadline for Health Plans to Meet Obamacare Standards

Date: March 06, 2014

Extension may allow renewals through 2016

The Obama Administration announced on Wednesday that it would allow an additional two years of extensions for some health insurance policies that don’t meet the requirements of Obamacare. Added to the previously-announced single year extension, the new extension would allow insurers to renew existing individual and small group policies up through October 1, 2016. The announcement was contained in a major package of regulations that sets the rules for 2015.

Many in the media see politics behind the extensions. Prior to the new announcement, insurers would have begun mailing cancellation notices in the months leading up to this November’s mid-term elections. Given the public outcry that greeted the first round of cancellations last year, that could have been a serious negative for Democrats running in areas where the Affordable Care Act is already unpopular.

What It Means:

The announcement may have drawn a lot of attention in the media, but its impact will be limited. Administration officials said that there are currently about 1.5 million people with individual or small group plans who would be eligible to take advantage of the extension. At least 4.7 million people have already had their health plans cancelled. In addition, the decision to offer extensions is optional for each state and for each health insurance plan, further reducing those who are impacted. Less than half of states allowed the original one-year extension.

Further Reading:

Read NFIB's statement on the newest Obamacare delay. And check out NFIB’s position and research on healthcare reform that affects small businesses.

The AP, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Bloomberg News, the Washington Times, The Hill, and Roll Call all have stories on the extension.

This news article is intended to keep small business owners apprised of current events that may affect them. It does not necessarily reflect NFIB’s policy position on such issues.

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