President Barack Obama plans to meet with state insurance commissioners today to discuss health reform implementation and keeping premiums in check, senior administration officials said during a teleconference.
The meeting will precede an event Obama will host to commemorate the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's six-month anniversary and the implementation of a number of major ACA provisions on Thursday.
“The general point is to work with the insurance commissioners, to strengthen what they're doing” to implement the law, said the officials, who spoke on the condition they not be identified.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners reports that more than 30 commissioners are scheduled to meet with the president.
“We look forward to a dialogue with the president on the important role state insurance regulators play in the enforcement of early provisions and further implementation” of the new law, NAIC President and West Virginia Insurance Commissioner Jane Cline said in an e-mailed statement.
A number of new health reform provisions kick into effect Thursday, including the elimination of pre-existing conditions for children. Yet, recent reports say major insurers plan on discontinuing child-only health plans, regardless of this new requirement.
Some insurers have said they won't sell new policies of this type in certain markets, one official clarified. “We are disappointed by what they're doing.”
Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for America's Health Insurance Plans, responded that the new policy, while well intended, “provides a powerful incentive for parents to wait to purchase coverage until after their children become sick, which will drive up the cost for those who are currently insured. Given the current uncertainty in the niche marketplace for child-only coverage, health plans have to make very difficult decisions about the types of new policies they will offer.”