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Hawaii urges private insurers to reinstate health plans

By Kristen Consillio

LAST UPDATED: 1:10 p.m. HST, Nov 15, 2013

Hawaii's insurance commissioner today urged all health insurance companies in the state to continue offering plans they had previously canceled due to the federal Affordable Care Act.

Between 25,000 and 30,000 Hawaii residents with individual plans and 140,000 people covered by small business policies had been notified their medical plans will be canceled or altered on Jan. 1.

Hawaii Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito requested Hawaii insurance carriers continue health plans that faced non-renewal by the end of the year.

Ito spoke one day after President Barack Obama reversed his stance on the issue, allowing states and insurers to choose which plans to continue as the Affordable Care Act is implemented.

The ACA, also known as "Obamacare," had required the inclusion of 10 essential health benefits. The non-renewed plans did not meet those requirements.

Now it will be up to the insurance companies to decide whether to reinstate the plans.

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