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Wed November 20, 2013
State Expedites 2014 Health Insurance Rates to Stave Off Cancelations
State Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin is taking steps to reduce the number of health insurance cancelations as a result of the Affordable Care Act. More than 473,000 North Carolinians have received notice from their insurance companies that their plans have been terminated. Goodwin announced last week an expedited review for insurers to speed up the 2014 rates.
Once those rates are approved, insurers can begin offering plans that would otherwise have been canceled because they didn’t meet minimum standards set by the Affordable Care Act. He said it will be a challenge to do in a few weeks what normally takes months.
"Whenever you receive a filing for insurance - whether it's health insurance or any other kind of insurance - it's not something like on piece of paper," he said. "It's very voluminous and has very complex calculations and the like, and it requires normally actuaries and CPAs and lawyers and others to scrutinize it.”
Goodwin said the shortened process should not result in fewer safeguards for consumers.
"We would still take months after it has been approved to cross-check and double-check to see that it meets state and federal law and to ensure that no one is being overcharged and to make sure there are no misstatements or falsehoods under penalty of law," he said. "The same protections will be there, it will just be under a different timeline."
Goodwin recommends that people in the market for insurance take their time to compare the costs and benefits of all available health insurance plans. People can compare coverage and check to see if they are eligible for federal subsidies at healthcare.gov