In Colo., insurers will decide on canceled plans


DENVER  | It’s unclear how Colorado will be affected by President Barack Obama’s decision to allow the continued sale of insurance plans that would have been cancelled by year’s end because they don’t comply with the Affordable Health Care Act.

The state’s Insurance Division says state insurers already had the option to offer “early renewal,” or keeping a current plan through 2014. Nearly 250,000 Coloradans have received health insurance cancellation notices.

Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar said in a statement Thursday that consumers offered to keep their existing plans should be aware those extended plans won’t comply with new federal insurance requirements.

“While early renewal may be an option for some, we want to emphasize that anyone choosing that option will not have a health plan with the coverage and protections required” by the new law, she said.

The division didn’t estimate how many of the canceled policies came with “early renewal” options.

At the White House on Wednesday, Obama said he would change course and permit companies to continue to sell the plans — to existing customers only — for at least one more year.

The result was to shift responsibility for cancellations from the administration to state insurance regulators and the industry itself.

In Colorado, premiums on the renewed plans may go up.