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Americans Already Being Forced Out of their Health Plan Because of ObamaCare

July 13, 2010

President Obama and Democrats repeatedly told Americans that if they liked the health plan they have, they can keep it.  Sounds good.  Too bad it’s not true. 

As a result of the Democrats’ health care law, residents in Virginia have already lost access to one health care plan and now many residents in Maine could lose theirs as well.  If this trend continues, millions of Americans will lose their health plan – something non-partisan experts repeatedly warned would happen under the law and that the Obama Administration itself has since confirmed.

Regulations Threaten Coverage for Maine Residents

Maine’s Superintendent of Insurance has written HHS Secretary Sebelius requesting a waiver from Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) requirements on the basis that complying with the Democrats’ new health law, “may disrupt our individual health insurance market.”  

What does “disrupt” mean?  It means that one of the two private insurers in Maine’s individual market, for those who do not receive health insurance from their employer, will no longer offer coverage if forced to comply with the new law.  It means the new MLR requirements could eliminate the current coverage of one-third of all privately insured Maine residents who purchase health insurance on their own.  For Maine residents, the fallout of the new law will leave only one private insurer and one government insurer in the individual market.  So much for giving Americans more choices and power over their health care.

Elimination of Plan in Virginia Already Announced

Recently, Virginia-based nHealth announced it was shutting down its operations in response to the Democrats’ health law.  A letter from the company announcing its exit from the market stated, “As I’m sure you are aware, the new federal healthcare legislation has created considerable uncertainties in the market for health insurance.” nHealth provided affordable health insurance primarily to small employers. 

Becky Pollard, President of Business Solutions, an insurance broker, explained the impact on affected employers.  “This is a tremendous hit to people financially.  My groups are just absolutely devastated. They’re not upset with nHealth. [They’re] [u]pset with the fact that we’ve lost a choice of a health care carrier in Virginia; and one with very competitive rates.”  Employers and employees that relied on nHealth for insurance are now confronting difficult realities as a result of the Democrats’ law.  One such company, Acorn Sign Graphics, had been paying a 100 percent of their 37 employees’ health premiums from nHealth.  However, the company is now preparing for cost increases, as they are being forced to switch to a more expensive insurance company.

Congressional Democrats were warned about this outcome by the American Academy of Actuaries in January.  In a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid, the Academy, commenting on the proposed MLR requirements in health legislation warned, “Imposing such requirements could result in individual market insurers exiting the market.” 

In another letter to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the Academy explained the fallout for the 18 million Americans caught up in the Democrats’ ill-advised health scheme, “If some companies do exit the individual market, then those companies’ former policyholders may find themselves unable to find new coverage in the individual market for a period of years…”  
So, despite the Democrats’ rhetoric, the reality is: 

    • Even the Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury and Labor now concede you can’t keep the insurance you have and like if you receive insurance from your employer.  
    • You can’t keep the insurance you have and like if you are a senior.  
    • And now we learn, you can’t keep the insurance you have and like even if you purchased it on your own.