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State to allow extension of health insurance policies

Insurance companies will have option to extend non-compliant policies until Oct. 2017

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 25, 2014) – Kentucky’s health insurance companies will have the option to extend policies not compliant under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through the Oct. 1, 2016, renewal, the Department of Insurance (DOI) announced today. This means some consumers can continue these policies until Oct. 1, 2017.

DoctorThis is the second “transitional relief” option offered to states by the federal government. The earlier one came in November 2013 and offered a one-year extension of existing policies; the most recent adds two more years. Transitional (non-ACA compliant) policies are not required to comply with various provisions of the Affordable Care Act, including essential health benefits.

“We know that health insurance needs are personal,” said Insurance Commissioner Sharon P. Clark. “This choice would give individuals and small employers the flexibility to make the decision that best fits their needs at this time while planning for full implementation of the Affordable Care Act.”

Clark said insurance companies will be given the option to extend the relief to those in the individual and small group markets. It does not affect “grandfathered” plans (those in existence prior to March 23, 2010) or newly issued policies.

Insurance companies are expected to notify DOI of their decisions by May 5.