Sebelius Explains ‘If You Like Your Plan, You Can Keep It’

The first question Wednesday that House Republicans asked Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about HealthCare.gov’s troubled rollout focused on President Obama’s promise: “If you like your health plan, you can keep it.”

House Energy and Commerce Chair Fred Upton (R-MI) pressed Sebelius on why the president had made that statement, given recent reports of individual policies being dropped prior to 2014, which is when the law’s major market reforms take effect.

“Mr. Chairman, there was no change,” Sebelius said. “The regulation involving grandfathered plans, which applied to both the employer market and the individual market, indicated that if a plan was in effect in March of 2010, stayed in effect without unduly burdening the consumer with reducing benefits and adding on huge costs, that plan would stay in effect and never have to comply with any regulations of the Affordable Care Act.”

“That’s what the grandfather clause said. The individual market which affects about 12 million Americans, about 5 percent of the market. People move in and out. They often have coverage for less than a year. A third of them have coverage for about six months. And if a plan was in place in March of 2010 and again did not impose additional burdens on the consumer, they still have it. It’s grandfathered in.”

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