As Calif. moves to force delay of policy cancellations, Philly-area insurers proceed

    California’s Department of Insurance threatened suit this week unless health insurer Blue Shield of California delays the cancellation 119,000 policies that do not comply with new requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

    California is seeking the delay because many people receiving cancellation notices are having trouble getting exact quotes for replacement policies through online insurance exchanges.

    Meanwhile, representatives of Philadelphia-area insurance carriers Independence Blue Cross and Aetna say they will proceed with ending individual health insurance plans that don’t comply with Obamacare.

    Independence Blue Cross hasn’t ruled out a delay, said Judimarie Thomas, the director of external affairs, but it has no plans to offer a reprieve to members who purchase insurance on their own because they don’t get it through work.

    Independence Blue Cross recently sent out 24,000 termination letters to Philadelphia-area “guaranteed issue” members — those who are eligible for coverage by law despite any pre-existing conditions. Aetna has also sent similar cancellation notices.

    Delaware’s largest insurer Highmark is considering a delay.

    Disclosure: Independence Blue Cross supports WHYY.

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