- Cancellation notices from insurers continue to mount
Owners of individual health-insurance policies already have received more than 1 million cancellation notices, according to a compilation of news reports.
But the pain likely won’t end there.
Health-policy expert Bob Laszewski has concluded that about 16 million Americans will lose their current plans because of Obamacare.
Laszewski explained that about 19 million Americans are in the individual health insurance market.
“Because the Obama administration’s regulations on grandfathering existing plans were so stringent about 85 percent of those, 16 million, are not grandfathered and must comply with Obamacare at their next renewal,” he said.
The 16 million, he said, will receive letters from their carriers saying they are losing their current coverage and must re-enroll to avoid a break in coverage .
“Most of these will be seeing some pretty big rate increases, he said.
Blue Cross in New Jersey, alone, is dropping more than 800,000 customers due to Obamacare.
In a letter earlier this month to customers who purchase insurance on the individual and small-employer markets, the insurance giant explained that their health-insurance plan would no longer exist next year because it does not cover all the essential benefits required by the Affordable Care Act.
The Daily Caller reported 1.1 million Aetna customers are at risk in New Jersey, where the leading insurer also won’t be a part of the state’s new Obamacare exchange.
As WND reported, some insurers are canceling plans sold to people with pre-existing medical conditions. Obamacare forbids insurers from rejecting applicants with pre-existing conditions or charging them higher prices.
In Florida, Kaiser Health Network reported, Blue Cross is terminating 300,000 polices.
Half a million Californians with catastrophic plans are losing their insurance plans because they don’t comply with the Affordable Care Act, KNBC-TV in Los Angeles reported Oct. 10.
Those who try to sign up for new ones, KNBC said, are learning the cost may be significantly higher.
Actor Paul Divito asked in KNBC’s report: “Affordable for whom? It’s basically squeezing us right out of the middle class.”
Gerald Kominski, director of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, estimates that “a half million people who are currently insured might be paying more premiums or higher premiums next year because the policies that they have today, those lower-cost, high-deductible skinny benefit policies are not going to be allowed next year on the marketplace.”
Blue Cross dropped Medicare D , the prescription drug plan, for some 13,000 senior citizens in Louisiana, according to the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report.
Blue Cross announced in a letter that prescription drug coverage will end Dec. 31, and seniors enrolled in the plans will have to find new Medicare part D coverage.
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield in New York state announced its Medicaid and Family Health Plus programs will be dropped, affecting 13,000 in certain counties, reported WHAM-TV in Rochester, N.Y.
“The health plan is incurring losses approaching $100 million on these products in 2013 and we expect that amount to increase in 2014,” the company said in a statement.
“Losses of this magnitude are simply unsustainable.”
In September, conservative media entrepreneur Michelle Malkin, founder of HotAir.com and Twitchy, reported Anthem Blue Cross canceled her family plan.
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield sent a letter telling customers that plans which don’t meet Obamacare’s requirements will be discontinued in 2014.
The Washington Post reported that the Fairfax County Water Authority in Northern Virginia expects to drop employee coverage because of Obamacare.
The Post cited a letter by Burton Jay Rubin, chairman of the authority’s government relations committee, declaring that if the “Cadillac Tax” is enacted in 2018 as planned – a 40 percent excise tax on insurers – the authority will likely drop insurance coverage for its nearly 400 employees.”
“[I]t is irrefutable that the ACA is fatally flawed,” wrote Rubin. “If it is intended to make health care coverage available to those who do not have it, it does so only by jeopardizing the coverage earned by those who have it.”
Rubin said that by 2018 the Fairfax County Water Authority expects to pay $13,450 to cover individual employees and $33,300 per employee family for coverage.
It only makes sense, he concludes, to pay the fine rather than pay for health insurance.
“[I]f we provide our workforce with no health care coverage, we merely pay the government $2,000 for each employee,” he wrote.
In Missouri, patients of the state’s largest hospital system will not be covered by the largest insurer on Obamacare exchanges, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield.
In Connecticut, Aetna won’t offer insurance on the Obamacare exchange in the state in which it was founded in 1850. The company explained that “modification to the rates filed by Aetna will not allow us to collect enough premiums to cover the cost of the plans and meet the service expectations of our customers.”
In Maryland, 13,000 individuals covered by Aetna and Coventry Health Care won’t be allowed to keep their insurance plans if they want Obamacare subsidies on the exchanges.
In South Carolina, the state’s second largest insurer, Medical Mutual of Ohio, decided to leave the state, dropping 28,000 people.
In New York, Aetna pulled out of the state’s exchange in late August to keep its plans “financially viable.”
In Iowa, the largest insurer, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which sells 86 percent of the state’s individual health insurance plans, won’t offer plans on the Obamacare exchange.
In Wisconsin, two of the three largest insurers in the state won’t offer plans on the exchange.
In Georgia, just five insurers are participating in Georgia’s Obamacare exchange.
Marketwatch reported in August that UPS has joined a growing list of companies kicking spouses off health insurance.
UPS said some15,000 UPS spouses who can obtain health coverage through their own jobs will be dropped from the plan.
Walgreens, the nation’s biggest drug store chain, has dropped 160,000 workers.
The company said it will move its workers into a private health insurance exchange to buy company-subsidized coverage.
It followed similar action this year by Sears and the Orlando-based Darden Restaurants.
Darden Restaurants, the the Orlando Sentinel reported, said about 1,000 employees nationwide who were eligible for its traditional health plan won’t qualify because they did not work an average of 30 hours weekly over the past year.
Darden, which owns chains such as Olive Garden and Red Lobster, employs more than 200,000 people.
The Orlando paper noted that starting in 2015, Obamacare will require large companies to offer insurance to employees working an average of at least 30 hours a week.
Darden will no longer offer part-timers limited-benefit insurance because Obamacare forbids it, the paper said.
Bloomberg reported America’s biggest employers, from GE to IBM, are increasingly moving retirees to insurance exchanges where they select their own health plans.
Time Warner also has said it would move retired workers to a privately run exchange