The escalating Obamacare debacle just became more complex with the Administration’s latest “fix.” Customers and insurers alike are confused with the ever-changing law, among them is New York resident Hallie, who is now unable to plan her next healthcare move.
The professional opera singer, who had excellent coverage, was informed by her trade union that the insurance policy for sole proprietors/artists would no longer be available under the Affordable Care Act.
“I liked my doctors and the coverage I had through the HMO provided through my union for opera singers and ballet dancers. The President promised that I would not lose my insurance, I did. He promised that I would not lose my doctors. That is false,” she says.
Hallie received a follow up to her cancellation notice, explaining that the insurance company could extend her coverage with a similar sole proprietor plan but only for 2014. That was very good news to her; however, there was a catch.
“It had a $2,000 deductible where my current plan is only a $100 deductible. The biggest problem was I had to pay for it by mid-November. I just paid my October, November and December insurance. I couldn’t get the extra $2,500 or whatever was needed that quickly, so this was not an option.”
The company did offer her an individual plan, which is far more inferior and expensive, having an in-network coinsurance of $8,000 and very high co-pays. The worst part is that her doctors and specialists do not accept it.
With the Administration announcing its “fix” to the cancellation quagmire, Hallie is not sure what this means for her or her cancelled policy – unfortunately neither does her plan administrator. In a response to a question about her latest options, the administrator stated, “We have talked with our insurers and they are as puzzled as we are.”
The President’s recent edict is leaving many confused due to lack of guidance to the state insurance departments or the insurance carriers. Some in the insurance industry are seriously questioning the move, stating the negative repercussions it will have on the markets and future prices.
“Changing the rules after health plans have already met the requirements of the law could destabilize the market and result in higher premiums for consumers,” said a skeptical statement from America’s Health Insurance Plans, the trade association for health-insurance companies.
“This decision continues different rules for different policies and threatens to undermine the new market, and may lead to higher premiums and market disruptions in 2014 and beyond,” said a statement from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
“This puts the insurance companies, who have successfully complied with the law, in a hell of a mess,” said Robert Laszewksi, a health-insurance consultant who echoes the views of insurance executives.”
Despite all of this, the President during his press conference reminded people that “we can’t lose sight of the fact the status quo before the Affordable Care Act was not working at all.”
Hallie spouted back, “My healthcare – health insurance – was working, and now because of this law, which is really a tax, I will have inferior healthcare that is more expensive. For me, health insurance is a privilege not a right.”
For the millions who lost their coverage, it was working. Instead of taking a common-sense, free-market approach to those needing insurance, Washington mandated a big-government solution, causing cancellations, confusion and more uninsured.