5,400 Alaskans insured with Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield would’ve seen their health insurance policies cancelled this year, except for President Obama’s announcement last November…
President Obama: “Already, people who have plans that pre-date the Affordable Care Act can keep those plans if they haven’t changed. That was already in the law. That’s what’s called a grandfather clause, that was included in the law. Today, we’re going to extend that principle, both to people whose plans have changed since the law took effect and to people who bought plans since the law took effect. So, State Insurance Commissioners still have the power to decide what plans can and can’t be sold in their states, but the bottom line is, insurers can extend current plans that would otherwise be cancelled into 2014, and Americans whose plans have been cancelled can chose to re-enroll in the same kind of plan.”
Melanie Coon with Premera – Alaska’s largest insurer – said 90 percent of grandfathered policies were renewed, and 80 percent of those who would have been cancelled were also renewed.
The deadline to sign up for health insurance without facing any penalty is March 31. The government says 6 million Americans have signed up for Obamacare, but the figures are disputed, due to complicated Medicaid procedures, which vary by state.
In Alaska, enrollments surged in December, just before the January 1 deadline for early benefits. Enroll Alaska announced 3,000 Alaskans ( a little less than 0.5% of the population) had signed up by December 28, but the numbers dropped significantly in the new year.