Question: Cigna (CA) tells me that I can keep my current plan through 2014. Doesn’t everyone have to change to Obamacare on January 1, 2014?
Answer: There is currently a loophole in the ACA that enables health insurers to extend existing policies for nearly all of 2014, thereby avoiding changes under the healthcare law. In california, some carriers, like Cigna, who are not included in the Exchange, are providing individual and small group clients an option to change their policy date to December, 2013. If you accept this option, you will keep your current level of coverage (at a new December 2013 rate) through November 30, 2014. The potential benefits are to lock in a new December 2013 premium through November 30, 2014, a premium that could be less than a 2014 ACA-compliant plan. When coverage comes up for renewal in November 2014, the plan will be closed. The loophole could close because carriers participating in Covered California, such as Blue Shield, Kaiser and Anthem Blue Cross, are lobbying state lawmakers to require individual policies to comply with the federal law by Jan. 1, 2014.