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Insurers’ Warning Letters Raise Stakes in Health Fight

Hundreds of thousands of consumers nationwide are receiving letters from insurers warning that their Affordable Care Act (ACA) health plans will be terminated at year-end.
July 6, 2017

Hundreds of thousands of consumers nationwide are receiving letters from insurers warning that their Affordable Care Act (ACA) health plans will be terminated at year-end. These letters are being sent now to comply with rules requiring insurers to give at least 180 days notice before pulling out of a state’s individual insurance market.

In many cases, planned withdrawals from certain ACA marketplaces by major insurers have been disclosed, but the letters may be the first notification for many consumers that their plans will end. Moreover, some insurers are sending the letters even if they have yet to make a final decision to withdraw in an effort to keep their options open. The 180-day letters must be sent only if an insurer is fully exiting a state’s individual market, according to lawyers, though the details of how the rules are enforced vary by state.

Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney said his department has been receiving calls from concerned consumers who received letters that Humana would stop selling plans. “They’re worried about what they will do for health insurance,” he said.

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