The outcry over cancelled individual health policies led to the new announcement that insurance companies might be able to extend those policies for one more year.
The extended policies would not have to comply with the new standards of the Affordable Care Act that kick in in 2014.
That might keep prices down, but it might also cause a lot of chaos and confusion.
Travis Middleton owns TradeMark Insurance Agency here in Houston.
He is skeptical that insurance companies could actually un-cancel the old policies in just six weeks.
“How much time do the carriers have to react (and bring) back these type of plans, to contact all of the people that they’ve already cancelled because they were mandated to? How do they reach out to these people and get this done by January the first?”
Middleton says the new option may not have much of an impact in Texas, anyway.
That’s because many insurance companies here took advantage of a state regulation that allowed them to renew individual policies early. The policies start in December rather than January 1.
By renewing the policies in the last few days of 2013, the companies didn’t have to load them up with the new benefits that are required starting in 2014.
That’s why many Texans with individual policies will not be affected by the law until December of next year.