Healthcare and keeping your planFor months President Obama has promised that those who have healthcare insurance will be able to keep their healthcare plans. Recently, weve found out this statement was deceptive at best and a lie at worst. What is actually happening? Its estimated that after its all said and done up to 129 million Americans may be kicked off their plan and forced to purchase a new healthcare plan.
Whats the main reason customers are losing their healthcare plans? According to the reports, the reasons are varied, but generally, it because the plans don't meet the minimum standards required under the Affordable Care Act, including a $6,350 limit on annual out-of-pocket costs and coverage of mental health, maternity and medication. In this case the insurance companies are forced to terminate the policies, although they may offer new policies with more comprehensive coverage at a higher rate. Another reason you could lose your healthcare plan? Insurance companies may be looking to drop more expensive claimants.
How have healthcare companies survived in the past?
Historically, healthcare companies allowed the consumer to make their own choices. They could choose more comprehensive coverage and pay very expensive premiums, or they could purchase a catastrophic plan with high deductibles and minimal benefits. The insurance companies also had more freedom to choose what applicants they wanted to cover.
Insurers notify customers of healthcare options
Healthcare companies have been sending out letters for the last several months notifying customers of their options. What has sent shock waves through the U.S. is not that they may have to change their policies; this is actually not that uncommon. Its also not the increase in premium costs. This has also occurred frequently over the last ten years. Outrage and shock, however, has been generated by the amount of the increase.
For example, some companies are offering comparable plans, but the increase in premiums could be as high as 29%. Other customers who have reviewed plans on the exchanges have also been disappointed. Some claimants complain that exchange plans werent much better, offering high deductibles, and limited benefits. The story is even worse for customers whose income is too high to qualify for any type of government subsidy.
Blue Cross Blue Shield revises most of their healthcare plans
Blue Cross Blue Shield, which has continued to be a major player in the current individual market and the exchanges, announced they have had to either discontinue or revise a majority of the plans. They admit that most of their customers, except a few that have been grandfathered in, will have to review and choose a new insurance policy. The claimants, who have been grandfathered, which is an estimated 25% of their current customer base, will retain their current coverage but not have the extra benefits offered through the Affordable Care Act.
What does the administration say about Obamacare?
The administration remains optimistic about the future, despite five weeks of computer glitches and a website that does not work. They admit that their earlier promise that you could keep your healthcare insurance may have been untrue, but they believe that after individuals shop the exchanges they may find that they have less costlier options. They also note that many families will be eligible for federal subsidies. For example, In North Carolina, Blue Cross expects 60% of its current policyholders to be eligible for subsidies, along with 66% of new customers.