The Obama administration scaled back another part of the new health care reform law late Thursday, allowing people whose health insurance policies were canceled to buy catastrophic insurance and saying they won’t face a penalty if they don’t buy insurance next year.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced the rule change in a letter to senators, the New York Times reports. The policy shift is the latest attempt by the Obama administration to assuage concerns about the law, which has been hobbled by a rocky implementation that included canceled policies and a glitch-ridden insurance exchange website.
The Department of Health and Human Services issued a statement Thursday advising consumers that if their policies were not renewed, they were eligible for a “hardship exemption” and would be allowed to enroll in a plan for catastrophic coverage, the Times reports.
Insurance trade groups have said that the latest rule change will cause further confusion and disruption in the marketplace.