PROVIDENCE – In a joint statement issued late Friday afternoon, R.I. Health Insurance Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Hittner and HealthSource RI Director Christine Ferguson said Rhode Island will not allow insurers to continue the sale of policies canceled under the Affordable Care Act, despite President Barack Obama’s decision to grant Americans who received cancellation notices a one-year reprieve.
“All plans available in 2014, whether through HealthSource RI or in the private market, have been through a rigorous review process designed to ensure that they meet the standards set forth in the Affordable Care Act,” the statement read.
“After reviewing the president’s announcement, we have decided to continue in the direction we are going, and therefore will not be adopting the option made available to us by the President. We will continue to closely monitor any and all changes at the federal level that have the potential to impact Rhode Islanders.”
The federal reprieve, announced by the Obama administration on Nov. 14, was designed to smooth the transition into the new insurance system established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
The one-year extension of existing policies that had been cancelled would have required insurers to inform consumers about alternatives available through the health exchange system, and to describe in what ways their plans fail to meet consumer protections required under the law.