President Obama will announce Thursday that insurers can allow Americans whose health plans were canceled under Obamacare to keep their coverage through 2014, a source familiar with the proposal told the Washington Examiner.
Obama will make the announcement at 11:35 a.m. from the White House briefing room.
The administrative fix comes after Obama’s own Democratic allies demanded a solution for the millions of Americans receiving cancellation notices for their insurance plans.
The president had promised that consumers could keep their insurance plans if they liked them even under Obamacare. But under the law's new requirements, millions of Americans may be dropped from their plans and forced to seek new coverage often at higher costs.
The controversy, coming amid the botched rollout of Obamacare’s new insurance marketplaces, threatened to undercut public support for the president’s signature domestic achievement.
As details of the announcement leaked, Republicans blasted the proposal, saying it was just a cosmetic adjustment that did little to help consumers being punished by the new health law.
Insurance companies are not required to preserve the plans in question, meaning millions of Americans could still lose their coverage if providers choose not to renew the policies.
Obama last week said he was sorry that some consumers would lose their plans, but insisted that they would be able to find better coverage and lower costs through the health care law.
Democratic lawmakers were preparing to move forward with legislation to address the issue.
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., drafted a bill that would temporarily allow Americans to retain insurance plans issued before Obamacare became law. A separate bill authored by Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., would allow consumers to keep those plans for another two years.
The cancellations and troubled healthcare.gov website have hurt the president, with Obama’s approval ratings hitting an all-time low in multiple polls.
The administration also announced on Wednesday that 106,000 people had signed up for Obamacare insurance plans, a number well below initial projections.