Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Obamacare Website Admits: You May Not Be Able to Keep Your Plan

    On the very day the Obamacare insurance marketplaces opened for business, a new topic appeared on the HealthCare.gov website:

    Although the topic was just added, it is already listed as "most popular":

    The write up on this new topic begins:
Starting 2014, most individual plans must offer new benefits and protections. Some plans will be changed or replaced with plans that offer these protections. 
If this happens, you can choose to buy a plan in the Health Insurance Marketplace instead. If you switch to a Marketplace plan, you may qualify for lower costs based on your income.
    Further down, the post states:
Your plan or choices may change
Given the changes required in 2014, insurance companies offering individual plans have two choices:
  • They can make changes to your plan to provide these benefits. If they do, you’ll see these changes to your plan by the time you renew during 2014. For example, if your renewal date is in July 2014, you’ll see the changes no later than July.
  • Your insurance company may decide to offer you other individual plans rather than renew the particular plan that you have today.
    While the post says that "insurance companies offering individual plans have two choices," this does not take into account that some insurance companies will simply choose to cancel the plan and not offer any alternatives, as some have already done.
    President Obama and his supporters have been insisting since before the Affordable Care Act was signed into law that if "you like your plan", you can keep it.  Now that the Marketplaces are open, the administration is finally acknowledging that that will not always be the case.

Note: A version of this article first appeared at The Weekly Standard under the headline "New Topic on HealthCare.gov: What If My Plan is Not Offered in 2014?" 

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