Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), facing a tough re-election fight next year, is sponsoring a bill in the Senate that wouldn’t just allow health insurance companies to renew the policies being cancelled, but would require them to do so.
About 92,000 Louisianans are expected to face cancelled policies.
Okay, so she’s just outraged about those people. But why isn’t she outraged about the 400,000 Louisianans who won’t get Medicaid next year because her state has refused the expansion.
You really can keep it (for another year, if your insurance company agrees).
The Prez just announced that insurance companies can (but don’t have to) extend plans in the individual and small-group markets even if they don’t meet the criteria for Obamacare.
Insurers must tell their customers what benefits these plans lack and that they have more alternatives in the Obamacare exchanges, including subsidies for many. Some people are about to discover their plans don’t cover things like, oh, hospitalization.
So the WH is basically shoveling some of the poop it is thigh-high in and dumping it on insurance companies and state insurance commissioners to deal with. After all, many of these policies no longer exist and it’s no small task to re-create them.
The legal authority for this? The Prez is using his “enforcement discretion.” Yes, they just made that up.
“I am not terribly different than some other writers who have been in the individual market. We have BCBS covering a family of four with a variety of pre-existing (but not life threatening) conditions. Like others, BCBS of Illinois informed us that our policy would no longer be valid after January 1, 2014. They also informed us that they would role us automatically into a slightly more expensive (and largely comparable) plan if we did nothing.
“Here is where it gets a bit more interesting. The “cancellation letter” directed us to the BCBS website, where we could shop through various other options. There are a large number of options (e.g., network breadth, deductibles, co-pays, etc.), many of which are also comparable to what we have at lower rates. Relatively minor tweaks to our deductible will save us hundreds per month – more than offsetting the deductibles. And, since getting the letter, we have gotten follow-up emails and telephone calls from BCBS encouraging us to compare our options at the BCBS website.
“It has become quite clear over the past couple of weeks that BCBS does not want us shopping on the Illinois Exchange. Of course I will ultimately do that, if nothing else to check out competitive options. BCBS has huge market share here and they have the best, most comprehensive network – I won’t be a bit surprised if we stay with them. That said, we have suddenly become much more attractive and important to BCBS than we were. Getting through underwriting a few years ago was ridiculously difficult, now we are being marketed heavily and encouraged essentially to skip the exchange all together and shop exclusively at BCBS.
“Count me among those who think the ACA will ultimately work to the net benefit of the vast majority of people in the individual market – myself included.”
From someone who wrote to Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo after receiving one of those “cancellation” letters. My guess is that this guy’s experience is fairly typical, and once again the Obama Administration is doing a crappy job of ‘splaining.