Insurance Industry: 'Higher Premiums'

By Susan Jones | November 14, 2013 | 1:40 PM EST

President Obama in Boston, one of his many stops to plug the law he continues to change. (AP File Photo)

( - After President Obama unilaterally changed his health care law on Thursday, the insurance industry issued a warning.

"Changing the rules after health plans have already met the requirements of the law could destabilize the market and result in higher premiums for consumers," said Karen Ignagni, president and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).

Here's Ignagni's full statement:

Making sure consumers have secure, affordable coverage is health plans’ top priority.  The only reason consumers are getting notices about their current coverage changing is because the ACA requires all policies to cover a broad range of benefits that go beyond what many people choose to purchase today.

Premiums have already been set for next year based on an assumption of when consumers will be transitioning to the new marketplace.  If due to these changes fewer younger and healthier people choose to purchase coverage in the exchange, premiums will increase in the marketplace and there will be fewer choices for consumers.  Additional steps must be taken to stabilize the marketplace and mitigate the adverse impact on consumers.

President Obama announced on Friday that he is giving insurance companies the option of offering health plans that should otherwise be canceled under the Affordable Care Act's requirements, which take effect on Jan. 1.

Insurance companies will be required to inform consumers who want to keep their old plans about the protections that are not included under those plans. Customers also must be notified that the health care exchanges offer more coverage and in some cases, at  lower cost.

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