President Barack Obama said his administration “fumbled” the rollout of his health care law and announced an administrative fix Thursday, allowing a one-year health plan renewal for insurers whose policies would be otherwise canceled.
“We did fumble the ball on it and what I’m going to do is make sure we get it fixed,” Obama told reporters at the White House.
The fix will allow current policy holders the opportunity to re-enroll for an additional year. The companies will be required to notify its consumers what protections these renewed plans do not include and to inform people of new options on the marketplace that have better coverage, possible subsidies, and Medicaid.
What the fix does now allow is to have older, non-compliant plans to be sold to new buyers for 2014. The fix is valid for individuals and small group policies.
The health insurance marketplace is offering improved choices, better protections, lower premiums than projected and in some places—such as New York state—lower premiums than currently offered, according to White House officials.
(Read more: Democrats threaten to abandon Obamacare)
“This fix won’t solve every problem for every person, but it’s going to help a lot of people,” he said. “We’re going to do everything we can to help Americans who received these cancellation notices.”
Obama had repeatedly promised that Americans who liked their health insurance could keep it when the law took effect on Oct. 1, but many people have received cancellation notices because their plans do not comply with new requirements, such as for mental health treatment.
But millions of Americans have been getting cancellation notices from insurance companies because their insurance plans do not meet the standards set out in the Obamacare law, creating a political crisis for Obama.
“As I indicated earlier, I completely get how upsetting this can be for American after assurances they heard from me,” said Obama. “To those Americans, I hear you loud and clear and today I’m offering an idea that could help do it.”
As of Wednesday, just over 106,000 people nationally signed up for Obamacare health insurance plans, according to the federal figures, only a small portion of the millions who had been expected to enroll. And only 26,000 of those individuals went through the HealthCare.gov site.
(Read more: Obamacare rollout numbers worse than feared)
The Obama administration had warned that enrollment would be very low in October due to website glitches.
“The rollout has been rough so far and everyone understands I’m not happy about the fact that the rollout has been wrought with a whole range of problems I’ve been deeply concerned with,” said Obama.
Obama said he was not informed directly that the Obamacare website would not work the way it was supposed to.
Obama’s top technology officials testified at a House oversight hearing Wednesday.
“We have much work still to do, but are making progress at a growing rate,” Todd Park, the chief technology officer at the White House, told the Republican-led House Oversight Committee.
(Read more: Obamacare Web model: Critics bullied me)
—By CNBC’s JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC).Reuters contributed to this article.