Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement after President Obama announced the administration will take action to maintain the availability of health insurance plans in the individual market:
“I want to commend the president for responding quickly and providing the necessary flexibility for insurance companies to continue offering currently available individual plans. This means that for people who have received insurance cancellations—including nearly 1 million in California—these existing health insurance plans may continue for another year.
“Today’s announcement also requires insurance plans to be more transparent with consumers and clearly explain why their plan would not otherwise meet new benefits standards. Consumers should be clearly informed about what their plan does and does not cover.
“This is a complex law, and it remains to be seen if other changes will be needed should more unintended consequences arise. Time will tell.
“This policy is an important recognition that some people feel strongly about keeping their current plans. At the same time, the option to purchase a different plan through health exchanges in California and around the country remains available and viable.
“Changing health insurance plans is deeply personal, and I believe it should be up to individuals to make that choice. That was the intent of the law, and it is how I believe it should be run going forward.”
Feinstein is a cosponsor of Senator Mary Landrieu’s (D-La.) Keeping the Affordable Care Act Promise Act, a bill to require insurance companies to continue to offer—indefinitely—all currently existing insurance plans as of December 31, 2013, on the individual market.