The Obamacare implementation is resulting in the cancellation of various existing health insurance policies throughout the country that don’t comply with the law’s standards.
This development primarily affects tens of thousands or more of self-employed Americans who pay for insurance on their own. About 14 million consumers overall obtain coverage directly rather than through an employer, and many of them will face significant changes in their coverage specifics. The employer mandate has been postponed for one year, but employer-provided coverage eventually will also have to comply with the law’s requirements.
Obamacare, a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act, requires insurers to cover 10 so-called essential benefits which rules out may higher-deductible, cafeteria or catastrophic plans that many Americans prefer within their budgets and now requires consumers to get additional coverage that they neither want nor need or which may be inappropriate for their age or gender. For the past year, insurance companies — which are perhaps as popular as used car dealerships — have warned of premium increases associated with the implementation of Obamacare, and some consumers have already experienced sticker shock. The administration and Obamacare proponents maintain that the outcome of all this will be will be upgraded plans and better coverage for everyone.
Affected policy holders (which includes Patti Davis) are now receiving cancellation notices in the mail.
To make matters worse, the healthcare.gov enrollment site still lacks full functionality, so those who are losing their insurance and don’t live in a state with its own operational online exchange are unable to seek out an alternative insurer at the present time. As noted above, many are finding that the new plans are far more expensive, although some consumers may qualify for federal subsidies depending on their income.
During an August 2009 town hall meeting, President Obama promised that “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan.”
Kaiser Health News provided more specifics on some of the insurance cancellations: “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.”
According to Forbes.com, in those three states alone, more Americans so far saw their insurance policies axed than then those who successfully got through to the federal healthcare exchange.
The New Jersey Star-Ledger previously reported that about 800,000 state residents “who purchase insurance on the individual and small-employer markets” could find that their existing coverage might be scrapped.
The Los Angeles Times, which claims that middle-class residents will face a 30 percent rate increase in California, reported on one representative self-employed consumer who has seen her monthly premium more than double post-Obamacare: “Fullerton resident Jennifer Harris thought she had a great deal, paying $98 a month for an individual plan through Health Net Inc. She got a rude surprise this month when the company said it would cancel her policy at the end of this year. Her current plan does not conform with the new federal rules, which require more generous levels of coverage. Now Harris, a self-employed lawyer, must shop for replacement insurance. The cheapest plan she has found will cost her $238 a month… ‘It doesn’t seem right to make the middle class pay so much more in order to give health insurance to everybody else,’ said Harris, who is three months pregnant. ‘This increase is simply not affordable.'”
Blue Shield of California has already terminated coverage for about 100,00 customers.
To amend Obamacare, US Senator Ron Johnson (R – Wisc.) plans on introducing the “If You Like Your Health Plan, You Can Keep It Act” that will require the federal government to live up to the president’s earlier promise.