Obama huddles with insurance execs

President Obama will meet with health insurance executives Friday at the White House, one day after the president announced a new regulation intended to address policies canceled because of ObamaCare.

The meeting comes amid growing tensions between the administration and the insurance companies over implementation of the sweeping healthcare law. 

"Today CEOs from across the health insurance industry will be meeting with President Obama and senior administration officials to discuss ways to work together to help people enroll through the Marketplace and efforts to minimize disruption for consumers as they transition to new coverage," a White House official said. 

ADVERTISEMENT
On Thursday, insurance companies slammed the president’s proposal, which would allow them to continue offering existing plans to current customers — even if individuals had bought insurance in since the passage of ObamaCare, or those policies had been substantially changed.

The move was seen as an attempt to shift the burden for the president’s promise that Americans could keep their plans from the administration to insurers. 

“Changing the rules after health plans have already met the requirements of the [healthcare] law could destabilize the market and result in higher premiums for consumers," said Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans, a leading trade group.

“The only reason consumers are getting notices about their current coverage changing is because the Affordable Care Act requires all policies to cover a broad range of benefits that go beyond what many people choose to purchase today,” she added.

It will be the third meeting between the White House and insurance executives in less than a month. 

On Oct. 23, senior administration officials, including White House chief of staff Denis McDonough and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, met with 14 executives from the nation's largest insurance companies. 

Following that meeting, the administration and insurers announced they were creating “alpha teams” that will work to address the corrupted enrollment data that is being produced by the ObamaCare website.

On Nov. 5, McDonough again met with executives to ask them to rework the cancellation letters they were sending to consumers who might lose their plans. He asked the companies to better explain to consumers what was happening, and urged them to spell out the benefits and subsidies that will soon be available.

Under the president’s new regulatory changes announced Thursday, insurance companies will now be required to include that information in cancellation notices, as well as highlight where current insurance plans fall short of the minimum standards outlined in ObamaCare.