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Issue Brief
May 2012

When a Health Insurer Leaves the Individual Market: What States Can Do before Certain Affordable Care Act Changes Take Effect in 2014 

Before the Affordable Care Act goes into full effect in 2014, consumers who buy health insurance on their own are at risk of losing their coverage if a health insurer decides to stop selling individual policies in their state.

To protect consumers from this risk and help them transition to another affordable coverage option, states can:

  • entice insurers to stay in all markets by requiring insurers that want to sell group policies in the state to also sell individual policies
  • negotiate with the remaining insurers in the state to offer health plans to people who lost their coverage
  • use the state high-risk pool or plans that guarantee coverage to everyone regardless of health status as alternative for consumers who lose their coverage