Ala. insurance industry monitors efforts to let people keep thei - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Ala. insurance industry monitors efforts to let people keep their current insurance

Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online

After a month and a half in service, the federally-run healthcare exchange has signed up fewer than 1% of the more than 700,000 Alabamians who don't have health insurance and are the targets of the exchange.

"That's on me," President Obama said. "We fumbled the rollout of this healthcare law."

Thursday, President Obama accepted responsibility for the Healthcare.Gov website's problems so far, and also announced a fix that will fulfill a promise he made back in 2010 that you can keep your current plan if you like it.

Thousands of Alabamians were going to lose their plans, but they can now keep them for one more year. That quick reversal may give insurers like BlueCross BlueShield whiplash as they try to comply. The company Thursday released a statement to FOX6 saying, "We are reviewing the president's statement and are evaluating its impact on our requirements for implementing the ACA."

"This fix won't help solve every problem for every person, but it's gonna help a lot of people," Obama said. "We're just gonna keep chipping away at this until the job is done. By the time we look back on this next year, people are going to say 'this is working well, and it's helping a lot of people."

The Alabama Department of Insurance released this statement Thursday on Obama's announcement:

"We are carefully evaluating how this change will affect policy holders and the insurance industry. There are many unanswered questions about how this change in policy at this late date can be carried out. Our goal here is to serve the people of Alabama by providing consumer protection and promoting market stability. We are actively gathering information regarding the impact on consumers and will work diligently to protect the interests of Alabamians."

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