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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/29/2013 (5 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Millions of Americans signing up for insurance sure to get 'sticker shock'

Millions of Americans have since got messages in their mailboxes that their health insurances will be canceled before the end of the year. If many remember correctly, the president assured the public that people who liked their insurance would be able to keep it. Experts now say that the current White House knew full well that health care reform would lead to countless insurance cancellations - for at least three years!

All say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience 'sticker shock.'

All say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience "sticker shock."

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/29/2013 (5 months ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: health insurance, cancelation, President Obama, sticker shock


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - It's a highly pervasive problem, as a whopping 50 to 75 percent of currently insured Americans will be receiving that dreary message in their mail shortly. At least four different sources involved in the Affordable Care Act say these consumers will have cancellations as their existing policies don't meet the standards mandated by the new health care law.

One expert says it could reach as high as 80 percent. All say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience "sticker shock."

The affordable health care law states that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010 will be "grandfathered," meaning consumers can keep those policies even though they don't meet requirements of the new health care law.

However - the Department of Health and Human Services then wrote regulations that narrowed that provision, by saying the deductible, co-pay, or benefits, for example -- the policy would NOT be grandfathered.

Because of normal turnover in the individual insurance market, "40 to 67 percent" of customers will not be able to keep their policy. Since these many, many policies will have been changed since the key date, "the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 to 67 percent range." 

in short, the Obama administration knew full well that more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans -- even if they "liked" them.

Obama fully promised in 2009, "if you like your health plan, you will be able to keep your health plan," was still saying in 2012, "If [you] already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance."

"This says that when they made the promise, they knew half the people in this market outright couldn't keep what they had and then they wrote the rules so that others couldn't make it either," Robert Laszewski, of Health Policy and Strategy Associates, a consultant who works for health industry firms says.

He estimates that 80 percent of those in the individual market will not be able to keep their current policies and will have to buy insurance that meets requirements of the new law, which generally requires a richer package of benefits than most policies today.

The Obama administration doesn't deny that many in the individual market will lose their current coverage, but argues they will be offered better coverage in its place, and that many will get tax subsidies that would offset any increased costs.

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