Cancellations, modifications coming for many Americans in individual health consumer market
October 29th, 2013
08:42 AM ET
10 months ago

Cancellations, modifications coming for many Americans in individual health consumer market

Updated 10/29/2013 at 10:12am

Washington (CNN) - The vast majority of Americans on the individual insurance market will see modifications to their existing plans, or even cancellations, according to an insurance industry source.

That raises questions about repeated claims made by President Barack Obama reassuring consumers that if they like their current plan, they can keep it.

"If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan," the president said in August, 2009 at a town hall meeting as the debate over Obamacare was heating up.

But the reality, according to an insurance industry source with knowledge of the implementation of Obamacare, is that many Americans, especially those with high deductible, catastrophic care policies will see drastic changes.

As new minimum requirements for their plans take effect next year, modifications and even cancellations may become necessary for those and other consumers, the industry source said. Some plans are going to be so different, the source added it may be easier to cancel those policies and then offer new coverage under Obamacare, which is formally known as the Affordable Care Act.

In many cases those policies will offer greater coverage, but at a higher price.

"Starting next year, all policies are required to cover a broad range of benefits, some of which are not in plans consumers choose to purchase today," said Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for America's Health Insurance Plans. "There's going to be a wide variation of impacts."

"For some people, the coverage they have today is going to be changed to cover the new requirements," Zirkelbach said.

But unlike the pre-Obamacare era, consumers who receive cancellations now have options. They will, in theory, be able to buy coverage under Obamacare and in some cases receive subsidies, Zirkelbach said.

White House officials maintain they have always said some health care plans would not meet new Obamacare requirements.

"There are existing health care plans on the individual market that don't meet those minimum standards and therefore do not qualify for the Affordable Care Act," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday. "There are some that can be grandfathered if people want to keep insurance that's substandard."

Carney argued the new coverage offered under the Affordable Care Act will be an improvement for consumers who see changes to their current plans.

"This is qualitatively better insurance coverage than what was available in many cases to Americans around the country," Carney said.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation website, 15.4 million people had individual health care coverage in 2011, representing more than 5% of the population. The vast majority of Americans – at least two-thirds of the population in 2011 – had coverage through their employer, Medicare, Medicaid or other public providers and will not be affected by changes involving individual coverage.

About 50 million Americans lack health insurance and are the main focus of the Obamacare reforms intended to them into the marketplace.


Filed under: Health care • Obamacare • President Obama
soundoff (252 Responses)
  1. Alan

    My insurance was cancelled today. :(

    October 29, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  2. Joe

    Let's face it.. This is going to effect people like me who run a small business. Another nail in the coffin of Small Business. I will end up paying double for my insurance so I can pay for the illegal in the picture.

    October 29, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  3. Cherokeeblond

    He lied. He lied repeatedly. All his sycophants have been lying repeatedly. He should be impeached.

    October 29, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. HUH?

    If 0bama's lips are moving he is lying. To bad all of you waiting on your goberment checks and voting for this incompetent liar are just now getting it.

    October 29, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  5. Padraig

    Isn't any really upset that we were sold a big lie. Obama and his administration knew this was going to happen and they pitched this continuous lie to the people. He has LIED time and time again, our President and his staff have no integrity. If you think I am wrong, be one of those who just received a cancellation notice. The President, Congress, Supremee Court, and staff are EXEMPT from this. Some of the unions like the SEIU are EXEMPT.

    People on Social Security they are reducing your benefits by only give slightly over a 1% increase and this does not meet today's cost increases but the people on assistance programs such as food stamps receive approximately a 30% overall increase to their benefits.

    October 29, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  6. justino

    and guess who lied to the entire world and said – "You can keep your policy if you want" ... Liebama

    October 29, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  7. Someone not happy

    Obamacare is not as it is told to people.

    Is there anything else to say???

    Take a look at the people who loosing healthcare trough their spouses.

    Now we need to get families to get two health care plans if both parents working and employer providing health plans.

    Welll I quess this is one of the way we all get shafted by our government

    October 29, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  8. justino

    and guess who told the entire world – "You can keep your policy if you want" ... Liebama

    October 29, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  9. justino

    wait- did the White House know this?? ...yes, and he said something very, very different to the world didn't he???

    October 29, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  10. Wilson

    I see the usual suspects are continuing to defend the indefensible.
    $

    October 29, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  11. lonnie tasler

    my 2014 HDHP deductible went up more under OBAMACARE, how does this OBAMACARE benefit me any? I was fine before now im gonna pay more for nothing.

    October 29, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  12. Dave Keval

    This is going to blow up in their faces, unfortunately, at the cost of all of us. Our family deductible has gone up each year for the past 3, and next year it's going to skyrocket. Last year we had around 3k of medical expenses, but didn't get to the 6k deductible. Literally NOTHING is covered pre-deductible anymore. To top it off, my son and daughter were just diagnosed with Asthma.

    October 29, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  13. ANDRES

    My BCBS of TX plan now will no longer be offered. I have a 3000 inv ded and 5000 family with 6000 max out of pocket 90/10 HSA all preventtive care 100% $10 generic and $50 name brand 0 ded and pay 544 a month for a family of 4. Now after 2014 my plan will not be offered instead it will be 6000 deductible 12000 family and 15000 max out of pocket after deductibles are met 70/30 and i will be paying 680 a month. Please tell me how this is better plan with more coverage than my current one

    October 29, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  14. Tam61

    Data Driven

    @itsjustme17,

    "Under Obamacare, my employer sponsored healthcare for my family of four will go from $4200/year to $7400/year – I don't consider that an improvement, paying almost double for the exact same coverage I had previously. And don't tell me I can go get coverage on the exchanges, because my 100% coverage EPO doesn't exist; getting a 90% coverage plan would cost me even more. Believe me, I am very concerned about the future..."

    What's the name of your health insurance provider? I'd like to look up them and see if this 57% increase in coverage costs you're complaining about is shared by other policy holders.

    -------------------------------------------------–
    Since you seem to think you know so much about the ACA why don't you tell all of these people how to get the exact same insurance policy they had prior to the ACA at the exact same price per month, the exact same deductible and the exact same co-pay??? Oh wait....that's right....YOU CAN'T so YOU are the one that needs to be MORE informed and get YOUR facts straight!!! The posters on there are telling you and everyone else that their insurance companies have sent them actual letters telling them their insurance is either being dropped or their premiums and deductibles are going way up and their co-pay amounts will be much higher. You can get more FACT than that.

    October 29, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "An UGLY illegal alien is not the best picture for CNN to put online although it probably represents the group that this new system will benefit most."

    And there it is, folks....all you needed to know about the GOP/Teatrolls and their positions on EVERYTHING. Disgusting.

    October 29, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  16. City On A Shining Hill

    The problem with the ACA is that it is forcing those in the individual market, most who are self employed,or who work for employers not offering coverage, to purchase plans at higher cost with services they don't use or need. The Democrats have made a very bad mistake doing this. And, studies show only about 15% of Americans don't have insurance, so why is there so much concern about this? The main reason for the law is to have those with insurance subsidize those without, through Medicaid. And, more doctors are not taking Medicaid patients.

    The ultimate reason, not mentioned by the media, of course, is for a single payer system as Europe has. Canada's Supreme Court outlawed private health insurance in favor of a government run system. Many Canadians and Europeans come to America for our cutting edge treatments which they don't have in their socialized nations, due to rationing of care and always scarce tax dollars to fund it.

    We will have it soon-and all the rationing and long waits for appointments to go with it! Not to mention our taxes doubling to pay for it all.:)

    But, socialism is the wave of the future. Embrace it!

    October 29, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  17. bdby

    The Republicans can run the devil himself as president and I would vote for him/her just to get rid of this Obamacare nightmare. Voting the Democrats out is the best way to reverse this disaster. Just now my boss was told that our company is no longer offering BC/BS gold plan. So now he has to go out into obamaland to get a much more expensive policy.

    This government is nothing but a rip off and this has got to stop.

    October 29, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. Emilio Sforza

    Glora that's not true, my company has made major changes to my deductible and out-pocket calculation for my health care, and guess what it's worse, as a matter of fact about 20% worse

    October 29, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  19. Cass A. Collins

    Yes indeed.....I was one of those "lied to"....I also remember being told that if I liked my insurance plan (individual plan, self employed), I could keep it. I had a group conversion Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan plan......$500 total deductible per year....no office visit, dental, prescription coverage....BUT, my wife's RA infusion treatments ($3000 every 45 days) were completely covered. My moderately expensive but excellent coverage will be canceled Dec. 31. Now I get to go on the "cheaper" (premiums) Obamacare plans (the only ones offered) only to get killed now by the deductibles and co-pays....even with the subsidies. If either one of us (both over 60) end up in the hospital with a major problem, we will be bankrupt and dead in the water.I get the feeling that the personal bankruptcy trends I have read about ( a majority are for medical and a majority of those had health insurance) might well continue. Thank you so much for the drive-by colonoscopy....we can now truly be happy-happy!!

    October 29, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  20. bucfaninil

    This can't possibly be happening?!?! I've been told over and over again all the "experts" say it can't. That it's the evil Empire Insurance Providers that always do this. ACA can't have anything to do with it!

    October 29, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  21. Jeff

    What a pack of lies. I have an individual Blue Cross Blue Shield policy, one of their top plans, and because I increased my deductible to $2500 in 2010, my policy is being cancelled. The suggested replacement policies are 61% more a month for premiums. I provide the exact same policies for my two employees, pay 100% of the premiums, and their policies are going forward with no premium increases. I like my policy, that's why I've had it for 10 years. What about changing the deductible makes it "unqualified" is beyond understanding. The WH is flat out LYING about being able to keep your policy. And the additional $4,000 a year I have to shell out for me Obamacare policy that is less coverage certainly isn't going to help my businesses bottom line any, or add jobs, or expand, or hire any outside contractors for painting or maintenance or anything else for that matter. What a pack of LIES!

    October 29, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  22. Everything....

    Everything about the picture above, makes me sick. I refuse to let the government take my money to give to parasites. Guess I will work more under the table.

    October 29, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  23. Everything....

    Everything about the picture above, makes me sick. I refuse to let the government take my money to give to leeches. Guess I will have to work more under the table.

    October 29, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  24. jjwhoever

    My husband and I have done the math and there's an answer for us. The cancellation of our employer subsidized plan and subsequent $600 monthly increase through Obamacare was about to force us to choose between paying our mortgage or our health insurance. We will be filing for a dissolution of our marriage, my income plus child support based on his income still leaves me and our three kids eligible for Medicaid and food stamps. He can sign up for a high deductible single plan for about $150 per month less than our old family plan. He will have to move in with his father a couple of miles away but he can visit frequently. This way our kids can stay in their home and continue going to their school. It's awful, but we can't change the system so we have to work with the options we are given.

    October 29, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  25. Rafael

    Well let me see; Congress does not have to enroll in Obama care. Neither do the Muslims. So what made you think the illegals
    were not going to benefit from Obama care.
    The above reasons is why Obama care into effect. Now do you want me to tell you who picks up the tab after they see a doctor?

    October 29, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
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