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Colorado Health Insurers Get An Extension

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For more information about the Affordable Care Act, visit CBSDenver.com/ACA.

DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado will give health insurers more time to offer plans that don’t meet the new federal requirements under the Affordable Care Act.

That puts the break on the state’s health exchange.

The law says that all policies had to comply with the Affordable Care Act by January.

Now the Division of Insurance says people who renewed their old policies before that deadline can keep them for another year.

About 100,000 people could be impacted.

The decision couldn’t have come at a better time for Democrats like Sen. Mark Udall with advertisements blaming him for people losing their policies.

Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar says politics did not play into her decision.

“What we’re doing is aligning our policies with the federal government,” said Salazar.

The problem is that state law says all plans must be compliant with the federal law by January of this year.

Salazar says because the president extended the deadline two years they are compliant with federal policy.

“I also listen to those consumers and I listened to Connect for Health who is concerned about how this is going to affect their enrollment as well,” said Salazar.

The extension of the deadline means people the exchange counted on joining may now have to wait potentially impacting its sustainability.

Rep. Amy Stephens, a Republican, carried the bill to create the exchange and says it’s all about politics.

“Our state law says we’re complying with federal law not with the president who just seems to pick and choose every day which law he’d like to follow. So, governor, you have decision to make. Are you going to obey the law or are we all just going to pick and choose,” said Stephens.

The governor issued a statement saying “few innovations worthwhile come without responding to the market and adapting.”

The state health exchange has more than 130,000 signups, the fifth highest of state exchanges in the country.

While the state extended the deadline, it will be up to insurers to decide if they want to offer the old policies.

LINK: Connect for Health Colorado

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