'If you like your health plan, you can keep it' not true for many Washingtonians

Print
Email
|

by ELISA HAHN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @ElisaHahnK5

KING5.com

Posted on October 25, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 25 at 8:47 PM

Hundreds of thousands of people in Washington state are receiving letters in the mail from their insurers, informing them "your health insurance plan will no longer be available" under the Affordable Care Act.

This is despite a promise President Obama repeated campaigning for his health care reform plan, where he stated, "if you like your plan, you can keep it."

Nikki Gibson, a hair stylist in Seattle, is among the 290,000 people in the state who pay for their own health insurance. She received the letter from Regence a month ago.

"It's not the truth," said Gibson. "You don't get to keep your premiums. You don't get to keep anything."

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler admits the promise was broken, but for good reason.

"It's a bit of a trade off," said Kreidler.  "Yeah, you're not going to be able to keep this plan that was probably inadequate and maybe a lousy plan, and now you're going to have a new plan that is much more robust in its coverage."

Kreidler explains that part of the Affordable Care Act forced insurance companies to raise standards for their policies, requiring coverage for so-called essential benefits, like prescriptions, emergency services, and maternity.

Regence offered Gibson a comparable plan, at almost double the premium and triple the deductible.

"I couldn't believe how much it went up," said Gibson. "I was like 'what?' The deductible too, to go up triple that's insane."

One consolation, Kreidler estimates about half of the people forced to get new plans will qualify for subsidy on the exchange. Gibson doesn't know yet if she's one of them.

Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin says he will propose a new amendment next week to the Affordable Care Act called "If you like you health plan you can keep it."
 

 

Print
Email
|