Remaining Non-ACA Health Insurance Plans to Phase Out in 2015
DENVER (March 13, 2015) – The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), announced that all remaining health insurance plans for individuals and for small employers that do not meet Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements will not continue into 2016.
This decision does not impact grandfathered plans, defined by the ACA as plans with an effective date prior to March 23, 2010. This means that insurance companies will not continue offering these plans, and consumers will not be able to renew these plans. For 2016, individuals and small businesses that are not enrolled in grandfathered plans must enroll in ACA-compliant plans in order to receive healthcare coverage. In May 2014, the DOI allowed insurance companies to continue non-ACA compliant plans for individuals and small groups, defined as employers with two to 50 employees, throughDecember 31, 2015.
The decision was based on an announcement made in March 2014 by President Barack Obama that said states could choose such a continuation. At the time, Commissioner of Insurance Marguerite Salazar stressed the importance of giving people more time to navigate the transition to the ACA and its requirements. “This added time will help them determine the best course of action for themselves and their families,” she stated in 2014.
Now that preparations for 2016 health coverage are underway and appropriate time has been provided for the full transition to ACA, Commissioner Salazar plans to phase out all remaining non-ACA plans in order to move forward. “The ACA became law in 2010, Connect for Health Colorado came online in 2013, and plans that meet the requirements of the ACA began in 2014,” she said. “We’re now in 2015 and it’s time to complete the transition to ACA plans.”
How many people will this impact?
Based on a survey of health insurance carriers that DOI conducted earlier this year and reflective of enrollment as of December 31, 2014, 189,779 people will have their non-ACA compliant individual or small group plans discontinued by the end of 2015. They will have to choose a new ACA-compliant plan for 2016.
74,811 people are currently enrolled in non-ACA compliant individual plans.
114,968 people are currently enrolled in non-ACA compliant small group plans (this represents 11,009 employers).
What can policyholders expect?
Insurance companies will notify all of their individuals and small employers who hold non-ACA compliant plans of the discontinuation. These notices must contain information about all available options: whether or not the company will offer plans that meet ACA requirements; finding ACA-compliant plans offered through Connect for Health Colorado; and the ability to purchase plans from other insurance companies.
The notices will be provided no later than 90 days in advance of the expiration date of the policy, or 180 days in advance if the insurance company is leaving the Colorado market. Insurance companies cannot automatically enroll, or “map,” a current policyholder into a new plan from their company.
Once individuals and small employers’ current plans are discontinued, they can choose to enroll through their broker, with an insurance company directly, or through Connect for Health Colorado, which is the only way individuals can qualify for a subsidy to help with the cost of health insurance.
The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies, regulates the insurance industry in Colorado and assists consumers and other stakeholders with insurance issues. Visit www.dora.colorado.gov/healthinsurance for more information
The Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit www.dora.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7855 / toll free 1-800-886-7675.