WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – When the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was signed into law, one of the pitches was “If you like your doctor or health care plan, you can keep it.”
That statement could come back to haunt the White House because while it’s partially correct; the reality is much more nuanced and those nuances could be what causes headaches for millions of individual insurance customers.
CBS News reported Tuesday that more than two million Americans have been told they cannot renew their current insurance policies. The forced cancellations are due to the fact that the policies held by millions of Americans don’t meet the 10 minimum requirements under the health care law.
There is a grandfathered clause that allowed health insurance plans in existence before March 23, 2010 to be exempted from some of the rules.
But, if the companies make major changes to the policies, which would run afoul of consumer protections under Obamacare, many will see coverage cancellation letters.
For those that receive the coverage cancellation letters, they will have to turn to the individual market to shop for new coverage. Many of the policies will be more expensive, but once tax subsidies are factored in, some may pay less for better coverage.
In addition, in states that choose to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act, many young adults would qualify for the government-run health care program under the revised income levels for Medicaid.
Florida, and much of the deep south where many uninsured Americans live, did not expand its Medicaid coverage.
Compounding the problem for the customers who receive the cancellation notices is that they can’t find out exactly how much they will have to pay or save due to the ongoing issues at the federal level.
“The winners (those who will pay less) outnumber the losers here, but because of all the website problems, it’s hard to find out who the winners are because they don’t even know it themselves,” Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation said.
Republicans have seized on the news saying the president lied about the ACA and that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and others involved in the production of the ACA website that’s been plague with problems should resign or be fired.
To date, no administration official has been fired or resigned for the numerous problems with the ACA website. The White House has said the website will be fixed by the end of November.