Today, the District of Columbia’s Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking announced that it will not exercise the discretion delegated to state insurance commissioners in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ transitional policy from Nov. 14 that would permit carriers to continue renewing non-Affordable Care Act-compliant health plans for policy years starting between Jan. 1 and Oct. 1, 2014.
“The department carefully considered all factors involved in this decision – District residents, the industry and the unique characteristics of our market – and concluded that there are greater benefits to continuing the District’s Affordable Care Act implementation efforts as planned,” said Chester A. McPherson, interim commissioner for the department. “The department believes this approach provides more certainty for residents and carriers by subjecting all health plans to the same standard as outlined in the law.”
Specifically, the additional elements of the Affordable Care Act’s essential health benefit requirement ensure that District residents have comprehensive coverage to meet their health care needs. Also, our review concluded that the future rate impact of the transitional policy would be more significant to District residents than continuing implementation as intended.
In making its decision, the department received input from the District’s Health Benefit Exchange Authority, carriers operating in our market, public interest organizations and District residents. Residents or issuers with questions regarding the department’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act should contact Philip Barlow, associate commissioner for insurance, at firstname.lastname@example.org.