Insurance companies scramble as Obama changes health law

President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks on the Affordable Care Act in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on November 14, 2013 in Washington, DC. Obama said Thursday that Americans should be allowed to keep canceled health plans for an extra year as he acknowledged a 'rough' start to reforms. 

President Obama announced on Thursday a one-year extension for people who want to keep their health insurance plans that were deemed substandard by the Affordable Care Act. Republicans in Congress may vote as early as today on a measure that would make the change permanent.

This shift has the potential to impact insurance companies who need to recalibrate because of the changes.

"It's going to be really hard for insurance companies to react positively to this," says Dan Mendelson, CEO of Avalere Health, a company that does advising on health care business strategy. "It takes time to put together insurance product, and to try and throw something together in a one month timeframe is not something that's usually done."

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David Brancaccio is the host of Marketplace Morning Report. Follow David on Twitter @DavidBrancaccio

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