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AP: Sticker Shock Follows Insurance Cancellation

From the Associated Press:

Sticker shock often follows insurance cancellation

By KELLI KENNEDY | November 2, 2013

MIAMI (AP) — Dean Griffin liked the health insurance he purchased for himself and his wife three years ago and thought he’d be able to keep the plan even after the federal Affordable Care Act took effect. But the 64-year-old recently received a letter notifying him the plan was being canceled because it didn’t cover certain benefits required under the law.

The news media might as well plug this macro into their word processors: "received a letter notifying him the plan was being canceled because it didn’t cover certain benefits required under the law."

The Griffins, who live near Philadelphia on the Delaware border, pay $770 monthly for their soon-to-be-terminated health care plan with a $2,500 deductible. The cheapest plan they found on their state insurance exchange was a so-called bronze plan charging a $1,275 monthly premium with deductibles totaling $12,700. It covers only providers in Pennsylvania, so the couple wouldn’t be able to see the doctors in Delaware whom they’ve used for more than a decade.

It’s actually worse than that. The woman who wrote to the Wall Street Journal about being an Obama-Care lose, pointed out that: "Before the Affordable Care Act, health-insurance policies could not be sold across state lines; now policies sold on the Affordable Care Act exchanges may not be offered across county lines."

"We’re buying insurance that we will never use and can’t possibly ever benefit from. We’re basically passing on a benefit to other people who are not otherwise able to buy basic insurance," said Griffin, who is retired from running an information technology company.

Er, that is the plan. Re-distribution, ba-by!

The Griffins are among millions of people nationwide who buy individual insurance policies and are receiving notices that those policies are being discontinued because they don’t meet the higher benefit requirements of the new law…

But it isn’t just those on individual plans. As we shall soon hear.

While lower-income people could see lower costs because of government subsidies, many in the middle class may get rude awakenings when they access the websites and realize they’ll have to pay significantly more…

"May"? But, once again, how kind of the AP to report this, now that Obama-Care is the ‘Law Of The Land.’

Because of the higher cost, the Griffins are considering paying the federal penalty – about $100 or 1 percent of income next year – rather than buying health insurance… In the past, consumers could get relatively inexpensive, bare-bones coverage, but those plans will no longer be available. Many consumers are frustrated by what they call forced upgrades as they’re pushed into plans with coverage options they don’t necessarily want.

Whatever happened to ‘choice’? Is that only important when it comes to abortion?

Ken Davis, who manages a fast food restaurant in Austin, Texas, is recovering from sticker shock after the small-business policy offered by his employer was canceled for the same reasons individual policies are being discontinued.

What’s this?! Employer plans are being cancelled, too? The hell you say!

His company pays about $100 monthly for his basic health plan. He said he’ll now have to pay $600 monthly for a mid-tier silver plan on the state exchange. The family policy also covers his 8-year-old son. Even though the federal government is contributing a $500 subsidy, he said the $600 he’s left to pay is too high. He’s considering the penalty.

"I feel like they’re forcing me to do something that I don’t want to do or need to do," Davis, 40, said…

But then the AP goes right back into disinformation mode:

It’s unclear how many individual plans are being canceled – no one agency keeps track. But it’s likely in the millions. Insurance industry experts estimate that about 14 million people, or 5 percent of the total market for health care coverage, buy individual policies. Most people get coverage through jobs and aren’t affected…

This is simply untrue. As the Obama administration itself admitted in 2010. A least half of all employer plans will lose their ‘grandfather’ status. And probably they all will eventually, except for the unions.

Philip Johnson, 47, of Boise, Idaho, was shocked when his cancellation notice arrived last month. The gift-shop owner said he’d spent years arranging doctors covered by his insurer for him, his wife and their two college-age students.

After browsing the state exchange, he said he thinks he’ll end up paying lower premiums but higher deductibles. He said the website didn’t answer many of his questions, such as which doctors take which plans.

"I was furious because I spent a lot of time and picked a plan that all my doctors accepted," Johnson said. "Now I don’t know what doctors are going to take what. No one mentioned that for the last three years when they talked about how this was going to work."

Which gets back to the ‘out of network’ problem. If none of the plans list which hospitals or doctors accept their insurance, you can easily end up with an insurance plan that no one will accept. Which is even worse than having one of those terrible ‘bad apple’ plans.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Monday, November 4th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

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