You can keep your own doctor.
"First of all, if you've got health insurance, you like your doctor, you like your plan - you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan. Nobody is talking about taking that away from you."
President Barack Obama
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
AT NEW JERSEY RALLY FOR GOVERNOR JON CORZINE
This has been a staple talking point as the president has traveled the country selling his health care plan. What is the truth?
The short answer is maybe.
At least in part because of the new law, some large employers are reassessing how they offer health care to their employees. This summer shipping giant UPS announced it would no longer cover spouses of non-union employees who are also eligible for health benefits from their own employers. This affects about 15,000 spouses who as of January 1, 2014 will have to change insurance plans.
Some major unions including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers which originally signed on to health care reform now say many of their members may not be able to keep their current health care coverage under Obamacare. These unions are now demanding the Obama administration make regulatory changes to the law so that multi-employer plans which cover many union workers are protected. These multi-employer plans mean small businesses team up with other employers on health care coverage and pool the risks. The problem is these plans are not eligible for federal subsidies under the new health care law and that means the union workers might have to change their health care plan.
"It is a question of fairness," says Edwin Hill, president of the IBEW. "Multi-employer plans are genuine health care success stories and they deserve the same federal support private insurance companies get."
Finally only a handful of existing individual plans that people currently have will be grandfathered into the exchanges. So, most people who are currently in the individual market will need to get new plans.
"Depending on the plan you choose in the marketplace, you may be able to keep your current doctor," a Health and Human Services official tells us, adding, "Different plans have different networks and providers...if staying with your current doctors is important to you, check to see if they are included before choosing a plan."
False, only because the president has been so definitive. It is probably true that the majority of people who have insurance will not be affected by the new law. But, clearly some will. Obama may realize he has been overstating the case since he did not make that assertion during recent events promoting the law. The White House says, however, he stands by the claim, declaring on its website, "nothing in the proposal forces anyone to change the insurance they have. Period."