Health insurance policies issued or renewed for individuals and small groups in Nebraska before the Affordable Care Act deadline of Jan. 1, 2014, can be extended legally through Oct. 1, 2016, the Nebraska Department of Insurance said.

The decision was based on a variety of factors, Insurance Department Director Bruce Ramge said in a notice dated Wednesday. Recently, the federal government announced it would continue its own “transitional policy,” first announced Nov. 14, for an additional two plan years.  

Ramge said the department has reviewed and analyzed the extension announced by the federal government.

"The agency also takes official note that the federal government has not yet implemented a functional SHOP marketplace and there appears to still be difficulties with the functionality of the newly created marketplace," he said in the notice.  

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services informed the department that it will not consider Nebraska to have failed to substantially enforce the ACA on account of its adoption of a transitional policy, Ramge said.

A finding that the state has failed to substantially enforce the law would prevent the department from being the primary regulator of health insurance in Nebraska. Instead, it would fall to the federal government.

As before, all other plans issued after Jan. 1, 2014, must be ACA compliant, Ramge said.

 

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