CHICAGO – President Obama’s claim that the millions of health insurance policy cancellation letters individuals throughout the nation have been receiving are for substandard plans is simply not true, Illinois health insurance broker C.Steven Tucker says.
Those being rescinded now are policies that were written since March 2010, including almost all the federal ObamaCare mandates require.
“These plans were purchased after March 23, 2010 – in other words, non-‘grandfathered’ plans,” Stevens writes on his blog. “These are plans that Health and Human Services required insurers to redesign as of 9/23/2010 and then sell to consumers under Obamacare. These plans already include 9 out of the 10 ‘Essential Health Benefits‘ including the policy design changes listed below that were mandated as of 9/23/10. This means they are NOT substandard plans and they are also not ‘grandfathered’ plans.”
While those cancellation notifications are hitting mailboxes throughout Illinois, health insurance companies won’t make public the numbers of Illinoisans who are being forced to scramble and find coverage before December 31, 2013. Blue Cross Blue Shield – one of the major carriers in Illinois’ health exchange plan – says it will not release those numbers until December 15.
Monday, Illinois GOP Congressmen called for the Director of Insurance to notify the public how many people have lost their coverage due to the ObamaCare shift. Midweek, Republican state lawmakers joined the call to make the numbers public.
California reports 900,000 and Florida reports 300,000 policy cancellations – mounting nationwide to millions.
Still, no numbers have come from the companies or Illinois’ Department of Insurance, while lawmakers struggle to answer calls from distressed constituents.
Tucker told Illinois Review that lawmakers should just assume that all individual health care policies will be voided because “grandfathered” plans are non-existent and don’t meet the Affordable Care Act’s requirements, no matter how loaded the previous policies were.
The plans currently in effect were designed by Health and Human Services, and the HHS is now forcing insurers to void those same plans to force these policyholders to pay higher premiums. And why are higher premiums required?
“In order for policy holders to subsidize the high cost of Obamacare,” Tucker said.
Besides all of the changes that HHS required insurers to redesign as of 9/23/2010, ObamaCare mandates 65 ‘free’ preventative care tests and exams to be added to all plans.
Tucker said not one of his individual plan clients has been able to retain their previous health care policy – they’ve all been cancelled and are being re-negotiated, or the clients are being forced to consider ACA health care exchanges.
In order to get the numbers they’re seeking, perhaps Congress members and state lawmakers should ask private insurance companies and the Department of Insurance “How many Illinoisans are currently covered by individual insurance plans?”
The answer they get to that question is likely to be nearly identical to the number of Illinoisans whose policies have been canceled.