Regence, Blue Cross let 100,000 keep policies

Regence, Blue Cross let 100,000 keep policies
Regence Blue Shield.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — About 100,000 people with individual and small-group insurance plans from Regence Blue Shield and Blue Cross of Idaho can keep them for another year, despite initially facing cancellations starting Jan. 1.

That's a reprieve from the initial requirement under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul that they be replaced with new, more-comprehensive plans.

Regence made the announcement Friday for its 48,000 affected customers.

Blue Cross made its announcement earlier, for plans covering about 49,000 people.

Amid criticism last month, President Obama relented and said he'd allow insurers to sell old plans to people for another year, even if coverage didn't meet his disputed overhaul's requirements.

States had final say, however.

Ultimately, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter left decisions up to insurers, saying he wouldn't tell them how to run their businesses.