Government to pick plans for displaced health law customers

Markets Associated Press

FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2015, file photo, the HealthCare.gov website, where people can buy health insurance, is displayed on a laptop screen in Washington. Worried that insurer exits from the health law’s markets may cause many people to lose coverage,... the Obama administration plans to automatically pick a plan from a different carrier for affected consumers. But policyholders could get an unwelcome surprise if their government-recommended plan isn’t what they’re used to. The elaborate backstop was outlined in an administration document circulating among insurers and state regulators. It also calls for reaching affected consumers with a constant stream of reminders as the health law’s 2017 sign-up season goes into full swing. HealthCare.gov’s open enrollment for 2017 starts Nov. 1 and ends Jan. 31. A copy of the plan was provided to The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) (The Associated Press)

The Obama administration is worried that insurers bailing out of the health care law's markets may prompt their customers to drop out, too.

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So administration officials have come up with a strategy to steer affected consumers to plans from remaining insurance companies.

Insurers worry that policyholders could get an unwelcome surprise if their new government-recommended plan isn't what they're used to.

The backstop is outlined in an administration document circulating among insurers and state regulators. It also calls for reaching consumers with a constant stream of reminders as the health law's 2017 sign-up season goes into full swing.

A copy of the strategy was provided to The Associated Press.

The administration says consumers have the last word as far as accepting any "alternate" plan they're offered.