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Governor preserves status quo on canceled health insurance plans

New York will not let people keep for another year any health insurance plans that were canceled because they don't meet minimum benefits standards under the Affordable Care Act.

Insurers in New York had been waiting for instructions from the state on how to proceed following President Obama's proposal last week to let insurance companies offer the terminated plans in 2014.

At least 137,000 people in Western New York had received cancellation notices for their plans, and Obama had reacted in response to political and public frustration.

Insurers in this state have said they can't unilaterally decide to renew the expiring plans without guidance from the state Department of Financial Services, which oversees the insurance industry.

The department had yet to issue this direction, and Danielle Holahan, deputy director for NY State of Health, said on a conference call Monday that the state still is weighing its response.

However, speaking to reporters at an event Monday on Staten Island, Cuomo was asked about Obama's proposal.

"You know, we haven't had the kind of issues in New York on our exchange that they've had nationwide. Our program has actually been working well. The website has been working well. And we've had actually very good success with our program. So we don't see any reason to change it now, because we're not having those types of issues," Cuomo said.

Asked whether the governor's off-the-cuff remarks amount to a policy announcement, Matthew Anderson, a spokesman for the Department of Financial Services, referred a reporter to those remarks.

-- Stephen T. Watson

 

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