Premera Alaska allows 5,200 customers to keep insurance plans

On Nov. 15 President Obama addressed issues with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and proposed fixes for cancelled insurance plans. (Still from briefing video)

On Nov. 15 President Obama addressed issues with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and proposed fixes for cancelled insurance plans. (Still from briefing video)

Health Insurer Premera Alaska will allow 5,200 customers in the state to keep their insurance plans.

The company canceled the plans for 2014 because they didn’t meet requirements of the Affordable Care Act. But earlier this month, after public outcry, President Obama said insurers could offer those canceled plans for another year, as long as states allowed it.

Premera spokesperson Melanie Coon says customers will have to extend their plans by December 31st:

“We’re planning to offer extensions to our members in Alaska. And right now we’re still finalizing the details with the division of insurance,” Coon said. ”So we do have some details to work out, but we do plan on offering those extensions to our members.”

Premera says it will have more details on the insurance plan extensions soon, including whether rates will increase, as they normally would each year. Customers will also have the option of buying new coverage on the healthcare.gov marketplace. That’s the only way to qualify for subsidies to help pay for insurance.

Enroll Alaska reports the healthcare.gov website is slowly improving. The insurance brokerage has enrolled 78 Alaskans on the marketplace so far. Chief Operating Officer Tyann Boling says on a scale of 1-10, the website is functioning at about a four.

“Any type of complexity, the system does not function well at all with. And the challenge is Americans lives are complex,” Boling said.