The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is considering a rule that would prohibit insurers from selling coverage across state lines for the next two years.
The new rule would take effect in 2019, two years after the last time insurers were allowed to sell coverage across states, according to the NAIC.
It would also affect all of the nation’s insurers and would take a year to set in place, meaning insurers would be required to apply for approval from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to begin selling plans in their states.
The rule is the latest in a series of rules by the Obama administration that have hurt health insurance plans and consumers.
The Affordable Care Act expanded coverage to all Americans, but states, counties and states are still struggling to implement the new law.
Many insurers have opted to remain in their existing states, while others have gone to more rural areas or to places with few or no people.
Some are leaving individual market plans because of the cost, while the vast majority of states have not expanded Medicaid to all adults.
There is also the question of whether the new rule will have any impact on insurers in the individual market, which have seen a steep decline in the number of new customers.
Insurers are already struggling to attract new customers, especially young people, according a recent report from the Center for American Progress.
Insurers are now being asked to offer coverage across more states and in more places, making it easier for consumers to switch plans or find another plan that meets their needs.
But insurers have argued that the rules would drive up premiums and cause them to lose customers.
“Insurers will find it increasingly difficult to compete in the health insurance marketplace with state-level competition that allows them to sell plans in states where consumers already have insurance,” said David Himmelstein, president and CEO of the NAIOC, a nonprofit group representing the industry.
“States will be required by this rule to maintain the same level of consumer protection protections as before, including prohibitions on discrimination against people with preexisting conditions, prohibitions on denying coverage to consumers based on pre-existing conditions, and requirements that insurers provide consumers with access to the health care they need at no additional cost.”