This Kaiser Health News story has been reverberating across the Internet because it starts to put together the numbers of private health-plan insurers who are receiving cancellations. (This is a small group of Californians; a majority get their health care through employer plans, Medicare or MediCal.) I’ve written about the issue here and here. From the story:
Florida Blue, for example, is terminating about 300,000 policies, about 80 percent of its individual policies in the state. Kaiser Permanente in California has sent notices to 160,000 people – about half of its individual business in the state. Insurer Highmark in Pittsburgh is dropping about 20 percent of its individual market customers, while Independence Blue Cross, the major insurer in Philadelphia, is dropping about 45 percent.
On Forbes’ Avik Roy’s blog, Josh Archambault crunched the numbers and concluded, “More Americans in 3 States have had their Insurance canceled under Obamacare than have filed an exchange account in all 50.”
According to this link as of December 2012, there were 491,977 covered lives in individual health care plans regulated by the State Department Insurance that are not grandfathered under the Affordable Care Act. (If they bought a plan after March 2010, their coverage is not grandfathered.) This is a 2012 number, but if the number of people with private coverage hasn’t changed much in the last ten months, that’s half a million Californians who will lose their coverage. According to this link (hit the Enrollment Summary Report) from the state office that regulates managed care providers, there were about 50,000 individual and 60,000 PPO policies that were not grandfathered at the end of the year, which would add another 110,000. (Department of Managed Health Care has not returned my call to confirm these numbers. In that stories report that Kaiser sent out cancellation notices to 160,000, this number seems low to me.) Either way, you get to 600,000 or more.
Forget President Obama’s 2009 promise, “Nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have.” It’s not true.
(For the rest of the article, click the link.)