Horizon Will Help Some 500,000 Customers Find New Plans

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – New Jersey’s largest health insurance company says it will not renew any small-group or individual health plans next year in a nod to President Barack Obama’s health insurance overhaul.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield made the announcement Tuesday.

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Horizon says it would not be possible to create new plans quickly that comply with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

“It didn’t leave a whole lot of time to really sort of turn on a dime to get ready to renew plans that we’re renewing as early as Jan. 1. So, surprised? No,” State Association of Health Plans president Ward Sanders told Putney. “The plans are going to be non-renewed so it’s not as if – no one’s lost coverage under this requirement yet.”

Those who renew the same plan before year’s end will have to pay more.

Many people on the plans will get more comprehensive coverage at lower prices by buying insurance on the federal exchange.

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The company says it will help some 500,000 affected customers find new plans.

Other New Jersey insurers have not announced whether they will end their similar plans.

About 800,000 people statewide are covered by individual or small-group policies.

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