October 4 2013

Your Healthcare Plan Gets the Boot

Patrice J. Lee

We’re four days into life with ObamaCare and each new day brings more bad news. If you live in these ten states the bad news is that you may have just lost your healthcare plans: California, Missouri, Connecticut, Maryland, South Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Iowa, Wisconsin, Georgia.

Nationwide healthcare providers are pulling out of their state ObamaCare exchanges or cancelling benefit plans that don’t meet new ObamaCare requirements forcing individuals to pay for different plans or seek other options. Thanks Mr. President!

The Daily Caller did some homework for us. Here are a handful of states and why healthcare providers are dropping out of ObamaCare exchanges:

1) California: 58,000 will lose their plans under Obamacare. The first bomb dropped in California with a mass exodus from the most populated state’s Obamacare exchange. Aetna, the country’s third largestinsurer, left first in July and was closely followed by UnitedHealth. Anthem Blue Cross pulled out of California’s Obamacare exchange for small businesses as well.

Fifty-four percent of Californians expect to lose their coverage, according to an August poll.

4) Maryland: 13,000 individuals covered by Aetna and its recently-purchased Coventry Health Care won’t be able to keep their insurance plans if they want Obamacare subsidies on the exchanges. Aetna and Coventry canceled plans to offer insurance in the exchange when state officials wouldn’t allow them to charge premiums high enough to cover costs.

5) South Carolina: 28,000 people were insured by Medical Mutual of Ohio, SC’s second-largest insurance company, until it decided to leave the state entirely in July due to Obamacare’s “vast and quite complex” new regulations. Company spokesman Ed Byers said Medical Mutual’s patients would be switched over to United Healthcare plans instead.

7) New Jersey: 1.1 million Aetna customers are at risk inNew Jersey, where the leading insurer also won’t be a part of the exchange. Just 2,600 patients purchase individual plans with the company, but any looking to take advantage of subsidies on the exchange for unaffordable employer-based insurance won’t be able to do with Aetna.

8) Iowa: Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Iowa’s largest health insurer, decided not to offer plans in the Obamacare exchange. It sells 86 percent of Iowa’s individual health insurance plans.

This just confirms one of the many legitimate concerns about the President’s signature plan. Americans will lose their private coverage as their healthcare providers are unwilling and unable to stand the costs of participating in ObamaCare. Also, many Americans won’t be able to see their preferred doctors under ObamaCare as the list of participating doctors is more narrow.

No politician is able to keep his promise and the President is no different. However in selling ObamaCare back in 2009 the President said “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”

Could he have foreseen that this would happen? Yes, and no. As we’ve highlighted before, one of the challenges with central planning is that you cannot anticipate the rippling impacts of new policies and plans. So the architects of ObamaCare could not have foreseen just how many providers would drop plans leading to more Americans losing their coverage.

However, business and economic principles hold true wherever, whenever and regardless of the industry. If you drive up the costs of operations –in this case by requiring coverage of new services and goods– businesses will find ways pass on the rising costs on to its customers or cut the services that are more expensive.

So it’s not surprising that a Forbes writer would receive thisfrom his provider:

“This letter is to advise you of certain changes to your health coverage with [insurer] that are required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). … Since your current benefit plan does not conform to these new mandates, your current plan will cease upon your anniversary date on 1/1/2014 and, in accordance with the ACA, you will be required to select a new ACA-compliant plan in order to continue your coverage.”

Look for your letter in your mailbox soon.

 

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