Intended for healthcare professionals


Obama announces fix for canceled health plans

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 18 November 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6918
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

President Barack Obama announced Thursday that the US administration would allow people to stay on their existing health plans for one more year even if the plans fail to meet the minimum standards set by the Affordable Care Act.

Obama acted after thousands of individuals and families received notices from their insurance companies that their current plans were being canceled.

In many cases the old plans did not provide the benefits and consumer protections mandated by the new health reform law, such as coverage for doctor visits, prescriptions, and annual caps on out-of-pocket expenses. To provide those benefits, new plans being offered to consumers were typically far more expensive than the canceled plans.

Obama had repeatedly promised that the Affordable Care Act would not force people to give up their …

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