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White House: Insurance customers need to know about Obamacare alternatives

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The White House said Thursday it is sending out a letter to insurance carriers that lets customers know about new health coverage options under Obamacare if they move to renew a plan that does not comply with the health care law’s standards.

President Obama recently said Americans who hold these bare-bones plans could renew them for one year, an attempt to smooth over his flawed promise that people who like their health plans can keep them next year under the Affordable Care Act.

He left it up to state insurance commissioners and individual insurers to decide whether or not to grant the extensions of coverage. Some have taken him up on it, and some have not.

A stipulation of Mr. Obama’s allowance is that insurers must let customers know about private-plan alternatives on the Obamacare exchanges, which offer better coverage but may or may not cost more.

“The administration believes that this kind of education is actually really important,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

Mr. Earnest said the required notice has been drafted and will be sent out Thursday.

“These notices tell consumers they have new options and rights to get quality, affordable health insurance. And they tell consumers what protections they would give up to keep the plan they have,” the White House said in a blog post. “In short, they give consumers the information they need to make the best choice, which may be keeping their old plans.”

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