Nightly News   |  November 14, 2013

New healthcare rules a ‘logistical nightmare’ for insurers

Insurance companies say they were blindsided by Obama’s announcement that state insurance commissions and companies can decide whether or not to re-start plans they had canceled. NBC’s Tom Costello reports.

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>>> insurance industry tonight says it was caught off guard by the president's announcement today and was not consulted about it the fix that's supposed to ease the anja paersoja paersog -- anxie ty of people is now leading to more confusion than ever. we get more from nbc's tom costello.

>> reporter: in california, don is really confused. in september he got a letter saying the insurance policy he bought on his own would be cancelled. his individual and family plan no longer available and a come prabl policy would likely cost $100 more each month.

>> what are we doing to get people more assistance?

>> reporter: with the president's announcement today the question is whether blue shield will now allow him to keep his old policy.

>> my preference would be to keep my existing policy but without the year limit. i would prefer to have the option to keep it into the future.

>> insurers are extend current plans --

>> reporter: the president's announcement leaves it up to the states and insurance companies to restart plans because they didn't meet the new law. insurers feel blindsided.

>> now they are trying to pass the cancellation hot potato to the insurance companies . putting them into a logistics call nightmare, creating more of a mess. the problem with obama care right now is the credibility the gap this administration has.

>> reporter: there is little time to rewrite or restart policies. today the insurance industry warned changing the rules after health plans have already met the requirements of the law could destabilize the market and result in higher premiums for consumers. the question today, is the entire program in jeopardy?

>> i do not believe this is the end of obama care. i think it is a very rough start. i think it is an effort on their part to save it. i think this jury is still out. but with it's saveable.

>> all right. now i need to look up your plan.

>> reporter: meanwhile, back in california doug was on the phone this afternoon --

>> how that changes my plan.

>> reporter: -- looking for answers from his insurer. several state insurance commissioners, including democrats, are refusing tonight to go along with the white house fix. meantime there is growing concern that younger americans will not buy into the health care plan and offset the cost from older, less healthy americans. that could mean higher premiums for all of us. brian?

>> tom costello out of miami.