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Nov 22 2013

Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Will Allow Extensions of Non-ACA Compliant Plans

The Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) issued a bulletin announcing that insurers authorized to write insurance in Wisconsin may choose to renew individual and small group coverage that would otherwise terminate due market reform requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

The announcement comes after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight issued a memorandum outlining a transitional policy that would allow insurers to continue offering non-ACA compliant policies in the individual and small group markets.  OCI announced that it will allow Wisconsin insurers to, at their option, renew non-ACA compliant individual and small group coverage that was in effect on October 1, 2013 for a policy year starting between January 1, 2014 and October 1, 2014. 

The bulletin clarifies that individuals and small businesses may change plan options from one non-ACA compliant plan to another and renew that coverage in 2014 provided: (1) coverage was in force for the individual/small employer before October 1, 2013 and (2) the new plan was available for purchase prior to October 1, 2013.  The bulletin also outlines OCI’s position that, with regard to insurers transitioning individuals from an existing plan to a new plan, nothing in Wisconsin statutes or regulations prohibits insurers from offering enrollees auto-enrollment into a similar new plan.

The bulletin also provides additional guidance for Wisconsin insurers regarding the transition, including rate revisions and required notice.