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CMS extends transitional policy for small group, individual coverage

March 6, 2014

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services yesterday extended to October 2016 a transitional policy allowing health insurers in the individual and small group markets to extend expiring policies that do not meet certain market reforms, such as essential health benefits standards, under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. “At the option of the states, health insurance issuers that have issued or will issue a policy under the transitional policy anytime in 2014 may renew such policies at any time through Oct. 1, 2016, and affected individuals and small businesses may choose to re-enroll in such coverage through Oct. 1, 2016,” wrote Gary Cohen, director of the agency’s Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight. Health insurance issuers that renew coverage under the policy extension must notify affected individuals and small businesses each policy year as specified, informing them of their options and new consumer protections that are available in other plans. Cohen said CMS “will consider the impact of the two-year extension of the transitional policy in assessing whether an additional one-year extension is appropriate.”