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Commissioner Faces Difficult Choice on Coverage Option Offered by Obama

Experts say Kobylowski must balance wishes of NJ consumers with what works best for insurance marketplace

By Andrew Kitchenman, Courtesy of NJ Spotlight

New Jersey Commissioner of Banking and Insurance Kenneth Kobylowski is weighing whether to allow thousands of state residents to keep their recently cancelled health insurance plans. The decision will have major policy and political implications over the next year.

When President Obama announced on November 14 that current health plans wouldn’t have to meet new federal regulations over the next year, he opened the door to each individual state health commissioner to decide whether health plans could extend expiring coverage for another year. Since then, more than 30 states have made those decisions, with roughly half allowing extensions and half declining to allow them. Insurance commissioners from both political parties have reached different conclusions, reflecting the complex factors affecting the debate.

New Jersey officials have indicated that they were seeking additional information from the federal government. State Sen. Nia H. Gill (D-Essex and Passaic) yesterday announced a hearing will be held December 5 in Trenton to discuss the state’s options, and that she has invited Kobylowski.

Read more at NJSpotlight.com

NJ Spotlight is an issue-driven news website that provides critical insight to New Jersey’s communities and businesses. It is non-partisan, independent, policy-centered and community-minded.

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