Shocker: You may not be able to keep your health insurance

“[N]o matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”President Barack Obama

Despite that now infamous promise, Kaiser Health News recently took note of the thousands of consumers who are getting cancellation notices from their insurance companies because the plans they have don’t comply with “minimum essential benefits” mandated by ObamaCare:

Health plans are sending hundreds of thousands of cancellation letters to people who buy their own coverage, frustrating some consumers who want to keep what they have and forcing others to buy more costly policies.
[…]
An estimated 14 million people purchase their own coverage because they don’t get it through their jobs. Calls to insurers in several states showed that many have sent notices.

Florida Blue, for example, is terminating about 300,000 policies, about 80 percent of its individual policies in the state. Kaiser Permanente in California has sent notices to 160,000 people – about half of its individual business in the state. Insurer Highmark in Pittsburgh is dropping about 20 percent of its individual market customers, while Independence Blue Cross, the major insurer in Philadelphia, is dropping about 45 percent.

And many of those who are being shifted to the health insurance exchanges are, well, less than excited about the plans that are being offered to them. Why? Because they’re paying a lot more for coverage they don’t necessarily want or need (emphasis added):

Kris Malean, 56, lives outside Seattle, and has a health policy that costs $390 a month with a $2,500 deductible and a $10,000 in potential out-of-pocket costs for such things as doctor visits, drug costs or hospital care.

As a replacement, Regence BlueShield is offering her a plan for $79 more a month with a deductible twice as large as what she pays now, but which limits her potential out-of-pocket costs to $6,250 a year, including the deductible.

“My impression was …there would be a lot more choice, driving some of the rates down,” said Malean, who does not believe she is eligible for a subsidy.

Regence spokeswoman Rachelle Cunningham said the new plans offer consumers broader benefits, which “in many cases translate into higher costs.”

This is very similar to other stories from around the country. Many people who thought the ObamaCare exchanges would be great are suddenly finding out that the plans don’t offer the same coverage they had and they’re stuck with higher premiums.

It’ll be interesting to see how many of these people with now-canceled insurance plans decide to go on the exchanges and whether that will boost enrollment numbers, which have been embarrassingly low and could pose a threat to the fiscal health of the law.


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