November 15, 2013

Kaine & Warner Urge Virginia Insurance Commissioner To Allow Renewal Of Canceled Health Care Plans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner sent a letter to Virginia Insurance Commissioner Jacqueline Cunningham urging her to allow plans that had been canceled under the Affordable Care Act to be renewed for another year, giving Virginians more time to make the best health care choices for their families. 

Full text of the letter is below:

 

November 15, 2013 

Jacqueline K. Cunningham
Commissioner of Insurance
Commonwealth of Virginia
Bureau of Insurance
P.O. Box 1157
Richmond, VA 23218-1157 

Dear Commissioner Cunningham,

Many of our constituents have contacted our offices regarding their concern over cancellations of individual or small group plans due to provisions in the Affordable Care Act that are set to take effect January 1, 2014.   While the availability of new insurance coverage that includes important consumer protections and premium subsidies are available through Virginia’s Federally Facilitated Marketplace starting January 1, some of these consumers may be unlikely to purchase new coverage for next year on the Marketplace and would like to keep their current plans.

Yesterday, you received a letter from Gary Cohen, Director for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, regarding a new transitional policy for insurance coverage that had been terminated or cancelled due to provisions in the Affordable Care Act.  The letter states that “health insurance coverage in the individual or small group market that is renewed for a policy year starting January 1, 2014 and October 1, 2014, and associated group health plans of small businesses will not be considered out of complicate with the market reforms.”  This policy would apply only with respect to individual and small businesses with coverage that was in effect on October 1, 2013.  Additionally, insurance companies will be required to clearly inform consumers re-enrolling in these plans about the alternatives and the additional benefits offered on the Marketplace.                 

As the Insurance Commissioner of Virginia, we strongly urge you to allow this transitional policy and allow plans that had been previously cancelled to be renewed for those customers who would like to keep their insurance. This policy will provide time for Virginians to make the health coverage choice that works best for their family or small business.         

We stand ready to work with you and your staff to help apply this policy, and look forward to continuing to work with you to implement the Affordable Care Act.                                                       

Sincerely,

Mark Warner
Tim Kaine