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ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Sloppy drafting may let insurers cherrypick the "young invincibles" Enroll America wants to sign up

LA Times:

[A] loophole in the federal Affordable Care Act enables health insurers to extend existing policies for nearly all of 2014, thereby avoiding changes under the healthcare law.

Several insurance companies are promoting this idea of consumers holding on to their coverage one more year and escaping potential rate hikes tied to the massive coverage expansion. But critics fear this maneuver is merely a way for insurers to target younger and healthier people and keep them out of the broader insurance pool next year.

Cherry picking? The health insurance companies would never do that!

Insurers participating in that state exchange, such as Blue Shield of California, Kaiser Permanente and Anthem Blue Cross, are lobbying state lawmakers to require individual policies to comply with the federal law by Jan. 1.

What kind of "marketplace" is it that doesn't work unless you force people into it?

Meantime, some insurers are ramping up their marketing to agents and consumers on this issue.

Connecticut-based Cigna Corp., which opted against selling in Covered California, said all of its individual and family plans would be revised to have Dec. 31 as the renewal date so that people can have the same policies in 2014.

The federal law "was written to provide folks with that option. We think our approach is pro-consumer," Cigna spokesman Joseph Mondy said.

In a recent notice to agents, New York insurer Assurant Inc. told them to "sell certainty" and said "younger clients will see significantly higher increases than those of older clients" under the federal law.

"When you sell your customers the certainty of benefits and rates that won't change until December 2014 your customers win — and you win, too," the notice said. "You can turn this transition into opportunity."

In other words, if some subset of the "Young Invincibles" does the math and doesn't sign up for a year, ObamaCare is less actuarily sound. On the other hand, maybe stuff like this is why they're only expecting to sign up 7 million in 2014.

On this issue, many critics of the health law point to President Obama's statements in 2009 that "if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan." Administration officials say Obama was referring to "grandfathered" policies that existed before the law passed in March 2010.

BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!! Shoots himself in the foot with his own gun.

NOTE To be fair, if Obama manages to turn his entire campaign apparatus into a sales force for the health insurance industry -- and with no commissions! -- that's probably a much bigger win over the long haul (for some definition of "win"). So perhaps that's the priority.

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