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California Insurance Commissioner Blasts Insurers For Canceling Policies

Blue Shield of California has agreed to let 115,000 individual policyholders keep their plans until next March. But because of Obamacare, nearly 900,000 Californians with other insurers will lose their existing plans at the end of this year.

Aired 11/5/13 on KPBS News.

Cancellation notices have gone out to nearly 900,000 Californians with individual health plans, even though there's no state law that requires it.

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is crying foul.

Jones said neither state nor federal law requires companies to cancel individual policyholders by Dec. 31.

The commissioner said insurance companies and Covered California made the decision.

"And they did it in a way that I find particularly objectionable, because they did it to individuals and families, but they did not do it to small business," Jones said. "And why? Because they saw it in their economic interest to keep the small-business customers in their existing plans and allow them to re-up, because those small businesses do not have an individual mandate and they were afraid they would lose them."

The California Association of Health Plans says people should enroll in the new, more comprehensive plans.

Consumer advocates argue all insurers should follow Blue Shield's lead and let people keep their plans until next March.

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