California’s insurance commissioner Dave Jones announced an agreement with Blue Shield on Tuesday morning that will mean some 113,000 people who had their policies cancelled will now be able to keep them through March 31, 2014.
If you’re one of those 113,000 people, you now have the option either to hold onto your policy into next year or to shop on the Covered California marketplace where you might qualify for a subsidy.
Jones says Blue Shield of California Life & Health agreed to send letters on Wednesday to its policyholders, informing them of the extension. If you’ve received a cancellation notice from another health insurance company, it is highly unlikely you will get an extension, as we detail below.
Blue Shield warned that extension is not without risks. Spokesman Steve Shivinsky says that policyholders who decide to stay with their current plan must still enroll in a new plan that complies with the Affordable Care Act by March 15, 2014. Otherwise, they risk a coverage gap. In addition, if people extend their current policy, they may have to pay a deductible twice in 2014 after they enroll in a new plan. Continue reading