AirTalk for November 22, 2013

Covered California refuses to extend canceled health insurance plans

Max Whittaker/Getty Images

SACRAMENTO, CA - NOVEMBER 13: Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee speaks during a press conference regarding the number of new healthcare enrollees through CoveredCA.com.

For those who lost their health insurance plans in the wake of healthcare reform, California has just one word for you: "sorry."

The five-member board of Covered California, the state’s health insurance marketplace, voted unanimously on Thursday to stay the course and reject President Obama's promise to extend the canceled policies. The board argued that all health insurance plans need to meet ACA requirements for essential benefits, and that changing up would further confuse consumers and disrupt the enrollment momentum already underway throughout the state.

About 1 million Californians are set to have their plans canceled in 2014; however, according to Families USA, only about one percent of Californians face rate increases without subsidies.

Did the state make the right decision in defying the president's request to extend health insurance plans? What tone does the refusal set for other states? Will Democrats feel the bite of this decision further down the line?

Guest:

Sarah Varney, Senior Correspondent, Kaiser Health News, and Contributing Reporter to NPR 


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