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In brief: Pa. to allow insurance extension

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Pennsylvania will not stand in the way of insurers who want to allow individual and small-group customers to renew policies that do not comply with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

A federal announcement earlier this month allowed the extension of such policies through Oct. 1, 2017, at the discretion of states. Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Michael Consedine expressed concern about the constitutional ramifications of the federal approach and the unsettling impact of a two-track marketplace.

"To clarify a potential point of confusion, it is our understanding that HHS does not intend to permit an insurance company to offer non-ACA compliant policies to consumers who may have already enrolled in ACA compliant policies," he said in a news release. "Therefore we do not believe that an insurance company may make such offers."

He also noted that insurers may decide not to extend those policies "due to various operational challenges, including the potential for significant expense, additional costs and the risk of further confusing consumers."

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