President Obama last week suggested people could reorder health insurance after their coverage had been canceled as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
The Indiana Department of Insurance immediately began conducting a legal review of that idea. Department Deputy Commissioner Logan Harrison says his agency concluded it does not have the legal authority to approve the renewal of canceled policies.
“Because the companies did not price accordingly to this request that the president has made, it could turn everything on its head and it’s something that, from a financial regulatory standpoint and a legal standpoint, is just not sound,” Harrison says.
Affordable Care Act expert Christopher Schrader runs a Bloomington human resources firm. He says a key element to watch now will be how many other states take Indiana’s course and bar companies from renewing canceled policies.
“If a high volume say no, then that’s going to shift the focus back to Washington, D.C. very rapidly and it will only whet Congress’ appetite for getting involved,” Schrader says.
Schrader says allowing consumers to reorder canceled policies may only work if Congress makes statutory changes to the Affordable Care Act. He says the president’s proposed administrative solution could leave states open to lawsuits.