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U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks alongside Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (R) and other Americans the White House says will benefit from the opening of health insurance marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act, in the Rose Garden
In an excellent post on the Republican attacks on Obamacare "rate shock," Brian Beutler makes a point that hasn't been talked about enough.
[I]t’s important to distinguish complaints about cancellation notices from complaints about rate shock. Critics of the law have done their level best to create the impression that everyone who’s received a cancellation notice has experienced, or will soon experience, rate shock. But it’s not true.

Some people who receive these notices will be pleasantly surprised to find that the most similar new plan offered by their current provider is actually cheaper than their old one. Others will be told that a similar plan will cost more. What they won’t be told, because insurers don’t want to downsell or advertise for their competitors, is that they’re likely to find a different plan available through their state exchange that’s closer to the same price or cheaper. If they can’t find a cheaper one, then there’s a decent chance that federal subsidies will reduce their out-of-pocket costs. It’s only the remainder—and it’s likely to be a small remainder — that genuinely will have no choice but to either pay more money (in some cases significantly more) or pay a fine and go without coverage.

Insurers are sending out these letters, telling people they'll be automatically enrolled in other, more expensive plans. They're not telling people they can shop around for a better deal. Which is precisely the point of the health insurance exchanges. These insurers are betting that people will go the route of least resistance, and just fork up the money for the plan they're being pushed toward. Of course insurers are doing that! They're going to squeeze whatever extra money they can get out of people because that's what they do.

No one is actually losing their health insurance, a fact that Republicans in hearings and conservative commenters (and bad reporters) aren't talking about. They're also not talking about the fact that people now have options, in lots of states, lots of options, and they don't have to take what their current health insurer is selling.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 02:31 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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  •  Tip Jar (171+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, ontheleftcoast, Witgren, Liberal Protestant, ferg, OregonWetDog, wildweasels, pimutant, wdrath, belinda ridgewood, blueoregon, greenbird, nzanne, kevinpdx, suka, NYC Sophia, SeaTurtle, splashy, BlueJessamine, howabout, Glen The Plumber, hannah, Danno11, mookins, IndieGuy, looseleaf, bloomer 101, Polly Syllabic, Panacea Paola, pickandshovel, Badjuh, itskevin, gmats, rat racer, Laurel in CA, Dodgerdog1, bakeneko, badscience, Fury, DCDemocrat, elfling, LynChi, kefauver, FloridaSNMOM, ratador, greblos, ericlewis0, SaintC, Gowrie Gal, hotdamn, Norm in Chicago, skybluewater, myboo, Militarytracy, wasatch, duhban, JWR, elwior, eru, wader, StellaRay, eeff, not a cent, BarackStarObama, No one gets out alive, Bluesee, StrayCat, VTCC73, Sylv, SherwoodB, Rob in CT, Smoh, socialistfolkstick, deeproots, PeterHug, smileycreek, JayBat, joedemocrat, Lefty Ladig, skepticalcitizen, BadKitties, drdana, puakev, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, majcmb1, I love OCD, kerflooey, aaraujo, kjoftherock, ksp, BlackQueen40, Louisiana 1976, Mary Mike, AgavePup, buckstop, BachFan, SteelerGrrl, reflectionsv37, FiredUpInCA, sotiredofusernames, vcmvo2, Gemina13, tofumagoo, Beezzley, Involuntary Exile, RAST, doingbusinessas, night cat, nomandates, Nica24, cwsmoke, eagleray, Loudoun County Dem, Capt Crunch, Sassy, JML9999, Railfan, David PA, gloriana, SocialRazor, roses, prettygirlxoxoxo, HarpboyAK, Clytemnestra, begone, marykk, kaliope, JVolvo, Selphinea, Sandino, chantedor, Throw The Bums Out, thomask, rl en france, fumie, riverlover, MartyM, petulans, Byron from Denver, i dunno, leeleedee, Matt Z, Bill in Portland Maine, HiKa, TrueBlueMajority, Bob Friend, Catherine R, cececville, howarddream, MKinTN, middleagedhousewife, gourmandmama, TheDebz, sighrus, wu ming, FindingMyVoice, ratcityreprobate, imicon, TRPChicago, Cat Whisperer, LOrion, cassandraX, Late Again, AllDemsOnBoard, ems97206, Libby Shaw, VPofKarma, Linda1961, Buckeye Nation, KenBee, daeros

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 02:31:20 PM PDT

  •  true (15+ / 0-)
    No one is actually losing their health insurance, a fact that Republicans in hearings and conservative commenters (and bad reporters) aren't talking about.
    But millions won't be able to keep their current health insurance PLAN. Which seems to be quite a surprise to many as they heard that they would if they liked it.
    They're also not talking about the fact that people now have options, in lots of states, lots of options, and they don't have to take what their current health insurer is selling.
    They had options before. What they no longer have is the option to buy the kind of insurance they were buying before if it was not ACA compliant. Nor the option to not purchase insurance without a penalty (tax?)
  •  Yes, but ... (8+ / 0-)

    Optically speaking, this still doesn't erase "if you like your  plan you can keep it."

    And that will be the take-away.  Who will say otherwise? Brian Beutler? Us?

    This pales next the national media bullshit fest, and add in our beloved party's reluctance to push back.

    It's not good.

    •  We, yes WE the people, can indeed make (41+ / 0-)

      a difference.  I took my grandson to the doc today....bronchitis.  Prescription.  And while waiting at the CVS pharmacy, a woman who was probably in her late 50's-early 60's was complaining because her husband's doc had called in the prescription under his given name, not the name he goes by which is Richard.  

      She sat down next to us and was complaining and saying how she hates when things get complicated and - get this - said it was cuz of that Obamacare.  I kind of snickered at her.  I told her "you just said 'they do that all the time', then complain that it's because of Obamacare that your husband can't remember which name is his proper and legal name?"  She looked at me kind of sideways and said "it's not going to work".

      I said "it's a start.  It's not perfect by any means, but it's a start at making these insurance company fools play fair and square."  I also told her that the way things were was unsustainable.  There is no reason that in the richest country in the world ANYONE should be without health insurance.  I wasn't loud, or rude.  Just helped her to see that her issues with a fucking name on a prescription could not in any way be blamed on Obamacare.

      She was quiet while we waited.  Her prescription was ready first and it cost about $4.00.  As she was leaving she looked over at me and said "You really think it's going to work?"  And I said it's a start.  I'm ready to change things so everyone plays fair.  Please help us get there.  She shrugged and left.

      So, put it out there folks.  When a casual opportunity presents itself, use FACTS to educate them - TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY.  Every day, every time, every chance.  She seemed a little taken aback that I didn't jump right in and commiserate with her.  Let folks know there are people who support the changes.

      Listening to the NRA on school safety is like listening to the tobacco companies on cigarette safety. (h/t nightsweat)

      by PsychoSavannah on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 04:16:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Only part of the quote (20+ / 0-)

      In 2009, Pres. Obama did say that you can keep your plan if you like it--but then went on to say that, while the federal government won't separate you from your plan, your insurance company or your employer can do so.

      ACA does not include any provisions allowing the federal government to force an insurance company to sell a policy it doesn't want to offer to consumers.

      •  He didn't just say it once. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BachFan, Sparhawk, annecros

        He went out of his way again and again to stress the idea that the ACA would change nothing for people who like their insurance. It was good salesmanship, but it wasn't entirely honest.

        Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
        Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
        Code Monkey like you!

        Formerly known as Jyrinx.

        by Code Monkey on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 05:21:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Unrealistic interpretation of presidents remarks (4+ / 0-)

          Is there anyone who has insurance through an employer who does not know, without being told by the president, that the employer can change the plan or the insurance company? And that you, the employee, will get nowhere by saying that your employer isn't allowed to change insurance because the president didn't mention it was okay?

          Is there anyone who has dealt with a private insurance company who does not know that the company can discontinue or alter existing plans, and introduce new ones?

          How many people really think that the federal government has the right to force insurance companies to offer a plan they want to stop selling?

          Conservatives who are obsessing about this sound foolish and immature, as if they really think that Congress would pass a law forbidding insurers from changing their product line-up.

          •  As a small business employer (3+ / 0-)

            We often had to give bad news to employees because we only had one insurer who would even offer us a policy, and there was one policy, we had no alternatives. The prices went up and up and up.

          •  But the question is whether (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            auapplemac, Sparhawk, annecros

            the policies of the ACA would cause systemic changes that would end up with people's plans changing. IOW, he was reassuring people satisfied with their situation that the ACA would not affect them. This was disingenuous.

            Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
            Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
            Code Monkey like you!

            Formerly known as Jyrinx.

            by Code Monkey on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 02:36:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  He may have underestimated the amount (0+ / 0-)

              subterfuge and sabotage and lies that would happen, but disingenuous I think not.

              •  It was totally disingenuous (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                annecros

                to tell people that the ACA would have no effect on existing policies and that they would be able to keep their plans if they liked them. What if they liked the fact that their plan was cheap for them? Well, it may now be more expensive due to the bans on certain practices. Is that a good thing overall? Yes, on balance, these changes are a good thing. Where he crossed the line from advocacy to disingenuous salesmanship was when he tried to make it sound like there would be no adverse effects for anyone.

                Make no mistake, the President understood that it was key to selling this thing to emphasize that he wasn't upending the whole system. Krugman is right—lobbyists weren't the only thing keeping single-payer from being politically feasible (immediately). There's also the uncertainty created by undermining a system—even a broken one—that people currently depend on. Change is scary. That's the reason the message on ACA was always two-pronged: “If you already have insurance, we're going to make sure it works better for you.” Etc., etc. But reassuring people that “they can keep” a health insurance policy that his plan might cause to disappear is indeed disingenuous.

                “You can keep it” is half-true. The other half is “… assuming the ACA doesn't cause the insurer to discontinue it or modify it, possibly not in ways you prefer.” There's no question that the usual suspects are distorting the actual harm coming to people as a result of these changes (sometimes it's actually helping people, sometimes it was going to happen anyway, etc.). But we have to face it—some people are getting screwed, and Obama owes those people an explanation and an apology.

                Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
                Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
                Code Monkey like you!

                Formerly known as Jyrinx.

                by Code Monkey on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 02:46:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Obama owes no one an apology...except for (0+ / 0-)

                  the part about the rollout being more bumpy than it should have been...

                  And even that is not actually his fault (though his responsibility).

                  He provided the vision and the leadership and made it ACA actually happen in a snarly Congress in a way that even SCOTUS had no grounds for objection.

                  That's awesome.  Better to send him bouquets of appreciation every chance you get.  And all Dem Senators standing for reelection this year as well.

                  Tough row to hoe for Begich in AK right now with all the snarls.  These guys need to hear lots of appreciation.

                  •  *sigh* You're not listening. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    annecros

                    Not everyone is better off under the ACA. This is not a surprise, and it was inevitable. But it does go against what Obama promised. They cannot, in fact, keep their plans, as a foreseeable consequence of ObamaCare. And not all of them will save money switching to a new plan.

                    Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
                    Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
                    Code Monkey like you!

                    Formerly known as Jyrinx.

                    by Code Monkey on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 03:19:07 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  ExACTly (0+ / 0-)

            That's what's so infuriating about this whole "controversy."

            I guess President Obama should have run around with a big asterisk on his forehead and every speech he made should have had tiny-print subtitles that read, "...as long as your insurer continues to offer the plan and your employer continues to provide it."

            Anyone who didn't realize that insurers could change, drop, discontinue plans at will, whenever they wanted, was just an idiot.

            "I can't come to bed yet! Someone is WRONG on the Internet!" - XKCD

            by SingularExistence on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 04:39:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I always thought that only applied (0+ / 0-)

      to people who had insurance through their job--the idea was that we weren't switching to a government healthcare system, people would still get health insurance through the same channels, but people without insurance have access.

      To me, the real broken promise is "won't raise your taxes if you make less than $250K"...even though most will get subsidies for insurance, they will still have to pay a premium to obtain insurance, or a penalty for not doing so,  which is effectively a tax (at least according to the Supreme Court).

      Of course, political promises should be understood for what they are, and what they are not--they are not contracts, they are not binding.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 06:53:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do you know anti-insurance people? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kefauver

        How many people have you actually met who do not want anything to do with health insurance, even if it is good insurance and affordable?

        Are any of them people who earn something in the vicinity of $250,000?

        I've never met anybody who doesn't want health insurance (if they can afford it), but I certainly see a lot of comments about "other people" who want to be uninsured, period.

        I've probably seen a million comments in various places by now, with deep sympathy for fiercely anti-insurance Americans who will be burdened with a surcharge on their taxes. Nobody commenting is one--they just worry about these apparently mythical humans who are.

        I don't care whether it is called a tax or a penalty or a surcharge. It is entirely fair. Taxpayers pick up a good chunk of the costs of health care for uninsured people who need more care than they can afford to pay for, as it turns out. Maybe they all meant to pay out-of-pocket, but one serious smash-up on the highway and they're into million-dollar health care, without a million dollars in assets.

        •  Like a true Conservative... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marykk, starduster, Berkeley Fred

          you worry about money instead of saving people's lives.

          •  You can't save people's lives without money being (4+ / 0-)

            involved somewhere in the equation.

            Who will pay for the equipment that doctors and hospitals require to diagnose and treat those people?

            Who will pay to build the hospitals? Who will pay the salaries of the health care givers?

            Just askin'.

            It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

            by auapplemac on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 03:02:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The real Q: why should insurance co profit on HC? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              annecros

              Do insurance companies examine patients? Develop drugs? Treat illnesses? They do nothing that a proper national single payer plan couldn't do, except skim a nice % of profit off the trillion+ we spend for health care, while having much higher overhead costs than, say, Medicare.

              But in America, providing universal health care for everyone is less important than ensuring Aetna and Blue Cross exceed their 4th quarter earnings expectations. :|

               

              •  We don't have Single Payer. You can't go on (0+ / 0-)

                using an argument that has no basis.

                Those who keep bringing up Single Payer are repeating the mantra: I wish. I wish. I wish. And ignoring the current reality.

                Yes, most of us here would love Single Payer. Fighting for it is commendable. This being a reality based community we should accept the fact that we do have ACA and work with the existing situation.

                It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

                by auapplemac on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 04:51:08 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  the answer to your question is the same everywhere (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  gooderservice

                  Society as a whole pays for the health care of its members. The difference in America is that we have a massive parasitic health insurance industry taking a cut of that spending, and their costs and profits only benefit their CEOs and shareholders (and employees to be fair) of those industries.

                  I'm not wishing for anything; I am merely making an irrefutable statement of fact. As someone who wants universal health care, I and others can both support the ACA as progredd to that end, and at the same time continue to denounce the gross inequity of the insurance model of paying for health care.

                  Because the only way we can advance single payer over the limitless coffers of the insurance industry is to make it clear what they really are: parasites. Or rent seekers, to use a softer term.

        •  The point was about promises (0+ / 0-)

          and I probably picked the wrong part of the law to point to the tax increase--there is also a real tax increase for the middle class that does not offer any additional benefit, i.e., making it harder to deduct medical expenses for those who pay taxes. The self-employed can deduct their health insurance, but those who are employees purchasing their own, who have taxable income, can only deduct medical expenses that exceed 10% of adjusted gross income (previously it was 7.5%). Admittedly most employees who earn enough to pay taxes will have employer-provided insurance, and hopefully won't spend 7.5% of their income on health expenses...but that is a middle-class tax increase, and violates his promise on taxes.

          My comment was about promises. Obama's promise was impossible to keep, and he should have known it was impossible--but the truth would have been unacceptable, so he promised the impossible. We should not be surprised when impossible promises are not kept.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 08:54:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  When People Realize the Benefits of New Plans (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      howarddream, madronagal

      They won't give a shit.

      If I remember correctly, you were "greatly concerned" during the 2012 election after the first debate.

      Knee jerk reactions don't help.

      I'm a "right-wing freak show," or at least that's what one nobody on DKOS seems to think.

      by kefauver on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 06:53:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I got a notice from my ins. company telling me (36+ / 0-)

    that the current plan I was under would no longer be offered in this market, awhile ago.  And so they put me on a lower plan with higher deductibles, copays, etc.

    I believe that the bottom line reason for these 'letters' is that the insurance companies do not want to comply with the % of money that has to be spent on pt. care, without taking it from the subscriber.

    So, I am looking into ACA, and if it works as I hope and preliminary review indicates that it will, all I will be able to say to the insurance company, is 'sorry I don't choose to subsidize the exhorbitant salary of your ceo and top officers and stockholders...."  My past health care has been set up to serve as money making machines for the insurance companies.

    I want health care that is set up to serve me.

    We Must DISARM THE NRA The next life you save may be ONE OF YOUR OWN!

    by SeaTurtle on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 03:04:38 PM PDT

    •  Reasons for letters (4+ / 0-)

      I don't know what insurance companies take into consideration in discontinuing some plans and introducing others.

      Insurers have to give 90 days notice to consumers if they're discontinuing their insurance plan. Hence, the letters sent out early in October.

      I think you're wise: investigate what's available in the marketplace and switch to whatever looks most promising for you.

      The marketplace is where the deals are.

    •  Shockingly (0+ / 0-)

      Chuck Todd asked a really good question this morning of an insurance company lobbyist he had on his show.

      The lobbyist was yammering about how the ACA made providing care "more expensive" and that was why premiums were rising. Chuck asked, "Well, aren't you choosing to raise those premiums though? I mean, how many un-profitable insurance companies are there in this country? No one is forcing you to raise premiums; you could just take fewer profits."

      The guy ignored the question, and Todd asked him again. He was ignored a second time and then gave up.

      But I think that's a question that must be repeatedly asked. Providing better care only leads to higher premiums if the insurance companies choose to raise those premiums.

      "I can't come to bed yet! Someone is WRONG on the Internet!" - XKCD

      by SingularExistence on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 04:44:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I thought conservatives wanted a free market (26+ / 0-)

    I thought they valued consumer choice, i.e., being able to buy health insurance at will from a slate of available options rather than having to meekly accept the only offers from one or two companies?

  •  It was still very bad optics, and will be very (7+ / 0-)

    very tough for some already in the individual insurance market. I currently have individual coverage thru BCBS-IL. They will remain by far the most affordable option at all levels of coverage, and I will get all the preventive benefits which are much welcomed. But at 64 years old, my premium  will go from $255/month for a $5000 deductible to $356/month for a $6000 deductible before any tax credit.  If the exchange isn't fixed in time, we will need to enroll in our new chosen plan directly with our insurer without any subsidy or suddenly join the ranks of the  uninsured since our old policies will cancel on 1/1. I can handle this, but the lack of timely subsidy is going to be a huge problem for anyone carrying a smaller deductible or with a family to insure.

    When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.

    by CoyoteMarti on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 03:32:37 PM PDT

  •  I'm surprised, but not really. (7+ / 0-)
    No one is actually losing their health insurance,
    Yes, they are.  They're losing the plan they've paid for, for years.  Last count is two million.

    Letters are still going out.  The spin in disgraceful.  

    •  And I would add this: (9+ / 0-)
      So let me begin by saying this: I know that there are millions of Americans who are content with their health care coverage – they like their plan and they value their relationship with their doctor. And that means that no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what. My view is that health care reform should be guided by a simple principle: fix what’s broken and build on what works.
      What exactly does NO MATTER WHAT mean?  

      http://blogs.wsj.com/...

      This needs to be acknowledged and not written off as a republican talking point because it's not (granted, republicans are taking advantage of this to diss ACA, but no one can unhear that Obama said, as he said it over and over again)

      •  the insurance companies (9+ / 0-)

        would prefer making more money and paying for less service. They've done everything they can, over the last two years, to make sure as few people as possible have grandfathered-in plans.

        (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

        by PJEvans on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 03:50:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree. But I'm not even talking about the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          annecros

          grandfathered plans.

        •  My grandfathered-in plan is much better (0+ / 0-)

          than the 'choices' I have under Obama care ($6,000 deductible under Obamacare, none under my current plan  (with full coverage) for one thing...monthly premiums the same). I have been soooo careful to stay on the same plan for as long as I could because I just knew that the Obamacare choices would be worse and sure enough...

          "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
          Platform of the Neo-Democratic Party
          Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

          by Sanctimonious on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 10:43:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You are very lucky. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kefauver, howarddream

            If you had an individual plan and not an employer plan, you are quite amazingly lucky. We could not buy that kind of insurance for our employees as a small business.

          •  How Do You Know? (1+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            howarddream
            Hidden by:
            gooderservice
            I just knew that the Obamacare choices would be worse and sure enough...
            Did you set up an ACA account and see what your choices were already?

            If not, you're full of shit.

            I'm a "right-wing freak show," or at least that's what one nobody on DKOS seems to think.

            by kefauver on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 07:21:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Having been in that market (0+ / 0-)

            even if you had the same insurance company for years, the insurance companies change their plans constantly and roll you on to new plans. It is often not the customer's choice and hasn't been. You may not have noticed in the past.

            I find it unlikely that the plan is as you describe it - no deductible and for the same price as a $6k deductible. I suspect  your old coverage still subjects you to the possibility/likelihood of substantial out of pocket costs should you need care. There are quite a few articles around about the various pitfalls that I'd be happy to link if you are interested.

            I also highly recommend shopping around with other companies. It's wonderful that individuals now have this as an option.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 09:45:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  It's the insurance companies taking it away (7+ / 0-)

        The gov't did not order insurance companies to change or drop these plans.  The insurance companies could continue offering those plans, but they don't want to.

        There's going to be a shakeup as competition finally enters the market.  Change isn't painless, there will be effort involved.

        But most of those two million have been captured by a monopoly provider, and now they have choice.  It's not their fault the sore looser insurance companies don't want to play fair.

      •  Some people have tried to use a technicality to (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annecros, kefauver, howarddream

        excuse that particular quote because what he said was true when he said it. The plans in existence on that date are still grandfathered today.

        Personally I would steer clear of that route and I'm sure you agree.

        For one thing he restated something similar more recently during the first Presidential debate a year ago.  That time it was worded differently

        You keep your own insurance. You keep your own doctor. But it does say, insurance companies can't jerk you around
        I doubt anyone understood the last sentence as a qualifier but "You keep" X2 is unmistakable.

        Still this isn't what bothers me. I'd like to know the basis for his statement before the law was even passed.  It had to be clear enough that some policies would be out of compliance on 1/1/14 because there's a grandfathering cutoff date. It was self-evident that some policies would reach a critical date.

        They left it up to industry to handle which I think is nuts. This isn't even the extent of it and the potential is there for it to fester and reappear this time next year.  Are you with me?

        There is no existence without doubt.

        by Mark Lippman on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 05:03:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, hell no, no way it was a technicality. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib, annecros

          And the people trying to spin this are (insert your own words.)

          Please provide a link where Obama referred to a grandfather clause.  I'd really like to read that.

          What he should have said but didn't is:

          If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what. Unless it doesn't comply with the ACA standards.

          No, I don't agree.

          Personally I would steer clear of that route and I'm sure you agree.
          I'm favor the truth, always.  
      •  Perhaps Obama was assuming (3+ / 0-)

        that only people with worthwhile policies would want to keep their insurance...clearly that was a mistake. On the other hand, it's a good bet that a lot of the people who want to keep their policies have only a vague idea at best of what those policies actually cover.

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 07:22:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Obama is not taking it away (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kefauver, howarddream, akmk
    •  Hardly any of them actually had (13+ / 0-)

      the same plan for years. That's the nature of the individual market. They may not have internalized that they were kicked on to a new plan last year or the year before, but nevertheless even had ACA not passed, most of these people would be pushed on to new plans this year.

      ACA is not obligating insurance companies to end these plans - the companies are electing to end them just as car manufacturers discontinue their models.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 04:16:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't believe that's true based on my (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib

        personal experience.  My plan for 2012 was exactly the same plan for 2013, albeit there was a slight, very slight increase in benefits.

        Hardly any of them actually had the same plan for years.
        I didn't say that, I said that they're not able to keep the same plan they had from last year.  ONE YEAR.  Not years.

        I don't believe that's true at all based on factual personal experience.

        but nevertheless even had ACA not passed, most of these people would be pushed on to new plans this year.
        Please site a link to back up what you're saying.

        Thank you.

      •  Exactly! Thank You! (3+ / 0-)
        That's the nature of the individual market. They may not have internalized that they were kicked on to a new plan last year or the year before, but nevertheless even had ACA not passed, most of these people would be pushed on to new plans this year.
        FFS, why is this so hard for people here to get?!

        My insurance has always differed from year to year.

        "Same plan," but not really. And this was before ACA "took effect."

        I'm a "right-wing freak show," or at least that's what one nobody on DKOS seems to think.

        by kefauver on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 07:28:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Ok, how about no spin then? (4+ / 0-)

      Answer me this.  Of those two million, how many of them had the terms of their plan changed last January?  How many of those 2 million will be able to shop for other plans from other insurers?  How many of those 2 million will find better plans?  How many of them will pay less than they did last year?  What percentage of the people in the individual market don't like their insurance?  

      For almost all these questions we don't have the answer and yet you seem to think it is the end of the world that people will have their insurance change come 2014.

      BTW, 45 percent of the people out in the individual market are dissatisfied with their insurance plans.  These are the people, by and large, currently getting those letters.

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

      by theotherside on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 04:38:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, answer this me this first, and then I'll (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, annecros

        answer you:

        So let me begin by saying this: I know that there are millions of Americans who are content with their health care coverage – they like their plan and they value their relationship with their doctor. And that means that no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what. My view is that health care reform should be guided by a simple principle: fix what’s broken and build on what works.
        Notice the bolding, and then tell me what was unclear about that.  Thank you.

        And no, I don't think anything is the end of the world outside of a nuclear bomb.  

        •  no one? (5+ / 0-)

          So if Obama passed federal gas mileage standards on new cars, and made the same promise about being able to keep your car, youd also cry foul because someone stole your car?

          If North Korea bombed Aetna, or Kaiser went backrupt due to a bad investment, then someone would be taking away your insurance.

          I think it is clear he meant no one from the government. Or do you also walk into stores wearing just a shirt and shoes?

        •  How did you really interpret that? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kefauver, howarddream

          Did you really think that Pres. Obama was saying that your employer was prohibited by federal law from choosing another insurance company, or another plan from the current one, to provide employee health benefits?

          Did you really think that he was saying that your insurance company, in the private market, was now prohibited by federal law from discontinuing one plan and introducing new plans?

          If a president were to say that you'll be able to keep going to your local supermarket to buy oranges, do you think that he is saying that federal law now prohibits existing supermarkets from closing, and prohibits everyone in the distribution chain for oranges from any action that keeps oranges out of your own local supermarket?

          Don't you think there would have been huge media attention to the provisions in the Affordable Care Act prohibiting your employer or your insurance company from making changes?

        •  My understanding is that in the healthcare (0+ / 0-)

          law there was a grandfather provision in there that stated that plans not meeting the ACA minimum benefits criteria would be allowed to be kept if they were currently in effect at the time of the bills passage (March 2010).

          Subsequently, in June 2010, in writing regulations that implemented the law, they had to deal with the fact that healthcare plans change all the time and the grandfather rule wasn't really workable.  So they ended up writing regulations that said something to the effect that if a "major" change in one portion of the plan was made that the whole plan would have to be changed to meet ACA minimums.

          So from one point of view, what Obama said was accurate.  There was a provision in the law that specifically stated that if you wanted to keep your insurance you could as long as you had it at the time of the passing of the bill.

          Admittedly, the subsequent regulation had the effect of undermining the law's language and Obama's pledge.  What I still don't understand is whether the regulation was a gift to the insurance companies that was done with a "wink, wink" by the administration or it was merely something that was reasonable at the time and the insurance companies are taking advantage of it to get people to buy more expensive insurance.  Have you seen anything that indicates why the regulation was written that way?

          We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

          by theotherside on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 09:43:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  theotherside - that's not the point (4+ / 0-)

        The issue is that the President made a promise he couldn't keep. We can't keep defending the indefensible. The President needs to come clean about what he said and what is now reality. If he does in now, in the middle of all the chaos regarding the website, it will flow under the bridge and not be a factor in 2014.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 05:32:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe. Frankly I'm not positive what the best (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gooderservice, VClib, annecros

          thing is strategically. Maybe hand-waving the half-lie and spinning for a while is the smart thing.

          But you're right, it's not the honest thing. Though frankly I'm not even sure what coming clean on this would look like. “Um, yeah, sorry guys! That was all salesmanship and spin!! Good thing everything worked out though, right? For most people, anyway?”

          Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
          Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
          Code Monkey like you!

          Formerly known as Jyrinx.

          by Code Monkey on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 05:39:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, I agree. People "forget" from one day to the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib, annecros

          next.

          If he does in now, in the middle of all the chaos regarding the website, it will flow under the bridge and not be a factor in 2014.
        •  I think Guantanamo is worse, actually (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          annecros

          and the whole "transparency" thing...Obama's made a lot of promises he can't keep, plus a couple he could have but didn't.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 07:29:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Alice - I think Guantanamo is important (0+ / 0-)

            to a very small group of voters. My guess is that those concerned are less than 10% of the Democrats, and fewer Republicans. The ACA impacts millions directly and that's why it has so much more political risk for the Democrats in 2014.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 09:51:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Obama and his defenders are too busy (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib, annecros

          shifting blame and arguing what the meaning of 'is', is.

          "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
          Platform of the Neo-Democratic Party
          Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

          by Sanctimonious on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 10:53:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I am frankly sick of the nitpicking (4+ / 0-)

          on a much-needed and incredibly important program. I refuse to cooperate in it.

        •  Well, as I stated above, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib

          there was a clause in the law that clearly grandfathered in people's existing plans.  However, it appears to have been undermined by a regulation issued a couple of months after passage that said if a "major" component of your existing plan was altered then the whole plan must be brought up to ACA minimums.

          In general, I'm fine with the grandfather clause and I'm fine with the regulation afterward.  BUT, and it's a big BUT, the effect of this is that health insurance companies are cancelling policies left and right, which, I don't think, was the intent of  the wording of either the bill or the regulation.  But maybe it was a gift to the insurance companies or it was the insurance companies taking advantage of a regulation.  I just don't know.

          I would like to see more reporting on the regulation and see why it was written the way it was.  I'm also curious to see who (Dems or Repubs) would actually favor a change in the law that says that insurance companies MUST continue to provide those plans (with modest price increases).  I'm guessing the Repubs would be all against it.  I'm not so sure on the Dems side.

          We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

          by theotherside on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 09:54:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  plan (5+ / 0-)

      It's not like rent control.  All these plans they've paid for, for years, have had changes all the time.  Both in terms of premium increases and benefit levels.  Just two years ago the plan I was on was discontinued and replaced with another similar plan with a slightly different name.  

    •  Absurd (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VA gentlewoman, kefauver, howarddream

      My family is among those whose plans are being discontinued.

      For each year of premiums we paid, we got one year of coverage.

      Now we're going to a new plan, pay new premiums, get new coverage.

      What's our loss?

      Don't talk too much about disgraceful spin.

      I can't help it. I love the state of Texas. It's a harmless perversion. - Molly Ivins

      by rsmpdx on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 09:05:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I need to see a large sample (8+ / 0-)

    and good analysis before passing judgement.  For some people, the ACA mandated covered preventive care may partially make up for higher premiums and get the insured in for an overdue visit to the doctor - not a bad thing.  Plus, I think it's great that participating insurance companies have to put the basics of their plans in understandable terms out there for everyone to see and compare.  I live in Wisconsin (no state-run exchange) and from day one, you could go to Healthcare.gov and easily compare cost and deductibles for a wide variety of plans.  In the past as I shopped for plans that kind of information was not easy nor quick to come by.  There are some pretty decent lower cost/high deductible alternatives out there.  Ya gotta shop around.
    And that feeling of knowing you're not just one diagnosis away from being uninsurable at any cost? Priceless.

  •  i was trying to explain this to someone yesterday (13+ / 0-)

    s/he was blaming Obama that the insurer had a plan that was the same as the plan available on the exchange but it cost more, and it had the exact same name in order to confuse people.

    I wish I had had this pithy explanation to offer:

    Insurers are sending out these letters, telling people they'll be automatically enrolled in other, more expensive plans. They're not telling people they can shop around for a better deal. Which is precisely the point of the health insurance exchanges. These insurers are betting that people will go the route of least resistance, and just fork up the money for the plan they're being pushed toward. Of course insurers are doing that! They're going to squeeze whatever extra money they can get out of people because that's what they do.
    Some people will go the route of least resistance because they are trying to avoid Obamacare, not realizing that they are acting against their own self interest (again)

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 03:48:08 PM PDT

  •  It occured to me today, while still stuck (3+ / 0-)

    in the website limbo, that the dust up around those of us currently in the individual market would have been much smaller without the Big Glitch. If those like me had been able to transition easily, our angst about dealing with changes would already be waning and we'd have a lot of happy stories about people with better insurance and helpful subsidies.

    When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.

    by CoyoteMarti on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 03:58:20 PM PDT

  •  I've had my individual plan for decades (8+ / 0-)

    and have been notified that it is being cancelled, so clearly insurers got permission to cancel older plans.  

    It was not junk insurance and it had a decent deductible plus the ability to go in-network or out-of-network.  There were some aspects that I didn't like much such as needing referrals to specialists, limited coverage for physical therapy, etc., but, all in all, it was good insurance.

    Now NONE of the plans on my exchange include out-of-network coverage and I have not received information on "replacement" plans from my current provider.  The letter that I received indicated that information would be available in October and it has not arrived yet.  When I call the company for an explanation or information, all I get is contradictory information and the runaround.

    I am a huge supporter of the ACA but I will likely have inferior insurance once it is implemented or will be paying much more if I can find an off-exchange plan that actually provides something similar to the level of coverage of my current plan.

    Mostly, I am concerned that I will be "forced" to take a far inferior plan on the exchange in order to be covered by January 1, since I don't want to be uninsured.

    So there are exceptions, and apparently, I am one...

    Why did Desiline Victor have to stand in line longer to vote in Florida than it takes to buy a gun in the USA?

    by mindoca on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 04:04:58 PM PDT

    •  You are indeed a rare exception (5+ / 0-)

      Most of us on the individual market are either denied coverage altogether due to our medical history, or offered only very poor coverage at astronomically high prices, or even poorer coverage at modest prices but with very low caps on coverage. I gave up even shopping for it several years ago, when the policies would have cost more than my mortgage payment for a high-deductible plan.

      I don't know how you have managed to get good coverage at a reasonable price all these years, and hope your insurer can help you keep something like it, or that you find coverage through the exchange that is comparable.

      •  Thanks but I didn't say it was inexpensive, I (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, Code Monkey

        said it was not a junk policy.  (I pay about $900 per month to cover just myself.) I have had it for about 20 years,  I will NOT find something on the exchange since none of the plans of the exchange in NYS provide any out-of-network coverage -- period.  As for my insurer, I have gotten multiple answers (all contradictory) as to what will be offered and when but no official offering of anything as of today.

        Why did Desiline Victor have to stand in line longer to vote in Florida than it takes to buy a gun in the USA?

        by mindoca on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 05:19:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The fact is, s/he will likely be getting a much (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annecros

        inferior plan under Obamacare and forced to do so. The Obamacare plans available to me are also much inferior to my current plan but luckily I am grandfathered in. Face it, the insurance companies won BIG TIME under Obamacare at the expense of the middle class.

        "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
        Platform of the Neo-Democratic Party
        Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

        by Sanctimonious on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 11:20:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  How big is the network? (0+ / 0-)

      If the network is big enough you may not need out-of-network. That is what we found.

    •  Or Your Insurer Just Decided to Drop that Plan. (3+ / 0-)

      They have been doing that for years.

      so clearly insurers got permission to cancel older plans.
      There was no "getting permission."

      As elfling stated in comments above, insurance companies have been canceling peoples' plans for years for various reasons they see fit.

      I'm a "right-wing freak show," or at least that's what one nobody on DKOS seems to think.

      by kefauver on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 07:55:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes they're free to choose another private insurer (0+ / 0-)

    to be a captive of.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 04:31:07 PM PDT

  •  Got a letter (11+ / 0-)

    My insurer sent me a letter with a "one time offer." I could get a new plan that meets all the requirements of the ACA for $5.00 more per month. So I called. Turns out, if I did that my annual deductible would get reset to zero. Also, I can keep the policy I have now until the contract ends next fall at the same rate I am currently paying. The letter didn't make that point. So I really don't have to do anything. They seem to be trying to make a buck off of all the confusion. It kind of read like a cancellation notice but it really wasn't. So there's that to watch for.

    •  Will your current policy meet the mandate? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      True North, kefauver

      If you don't upgrade to the ACA-compliant policy, you may find yourself paying a penalty come tax time. I think it's only $95 for 2014, or 1% of your income, or something like that, so may be worth it -- but don't forget to factor that in.

      It is highly confusing, especially in this transition time, and yes, the insurance companies that are not selling on the exchange (or are, but would rather sell us even pricier policies outside the exchange) have a distinct interest in keeping us all massively confused.

      •  I believe your information about the individual (0+ / 0-)

        mandate penalty is wrong.  I am not positive but I would rather flag it so that folks reading this don't take it as gospel and make plans based on it.  

        Why did Desiline Victor have to stand in line longer to vote in Florida than it takes to buy a gun in the USA?

        by mindoca on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 05:23:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Except now we are all captives... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paleo

    of the Health Insurance industry.  When you're getting screwed, does it really matter what the guy's name is?

  •  At least Anthem Blue Cross in California (11+ / 0-)

    suggested we shop the exchanges in their letter to us, after telling us the more expensive plan we would be moved into once ours was cancelled.

    And, indeed, the Silver plan we got on the Exchange is an actual insurance plan with lower deductible, superior features, and oh yes....lower premiums, too, than that of our cancelled plan.

    Oh, I used to be disgusted
    Now I try to be amused
    ~~ Elvis Costello

    by smileycreek on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 05:31:30 PM PDT

    •  How refreshing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smileycreek, True North, kefauver

      Some executive at Anthem Blue Cross actually did the right thing by telling current customers that they could shop on the Exchange once their current plan was cancelled.

      I really think most of these 'cancellation' letters are missing that minor fact. They're trying to push their clients directly into their most similar law compliant plan without mentioning that there might be dozens of competing plans on the Exchange.

      Also I wonder if they're even telling customers that they NEED to go onto the Exchange (and possibly see competing plans from other vendors) in order to possibly get subsidies. That would be interesting to know. I think that many middle class and lower middle class individuals and families may be eligible for some amount of subsidy. But if you don't purchase via the Exchange you forfeit those subsidies.

      Some dipshits seem to have decided that the insurance companies can't access the Federal 'data bus' or 'subsidy calculating engine'. So when you buy direct from the insurance company you are giving up any chance of getting the subsidy. I expect that this might be changed sometime in the future once things stabilize on the Federal side.

      Most insurance executives seem to sell their souls to the devil once they get to assistant vice presidential level.

      What a job.

      •  The answer for their conscientiousness may be (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sotiredofusernames

        that there are only two insurance companies available in our area on the exchange: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

        So it was a win-win for them. If we stayed with them we'd pay double for a bronze-level policy.

        If we went to the exchange and got tax credits, which we did, then we'd purchase a better policy, which we did. We bought their Silver policy because it was exactly the same as Blue Shield's, just a lower price.

        So it was actually in their best interest to tell us about the exchange. Where it is not in their best interest I expect they might neglect to mention it.

        Insurance companies are scum. They provide no value. I can't wait until we go single payer.

        Oh, I used to be disgusted
        Now I try to be amused
        ~~ Elvis Costello

        by smileycreek on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 06:20:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Silver plan for me is a much inferior (0+ / 0-)

      plan than the one I current have with Kaiser - $6,000 deductible versus no deductible and other worse features, such as co-pays.

      "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
      Platform of the Neo-Democratic Party
      Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

      by Sanctimonious on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 11:25:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My 34 year old son got a cancellation letter. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North, marykk

    He's pretty steamed by it. He is a probably pretty libertarian, in contrast to the Rand Paul quasi-libertarian. So he was pissed when he received a letter canceling his policy. It wasn't a bear bones policy because that wouldn't work for him. He has a hypochondriac wife, a five year old son and two year old twin daughters. All if the kids were born premature and the birth of the twins and post parts  heart problems of his wife lead to $750,000 in bills. These were paid by a COBRA policy his wife had after she left her not for profit job.

    Due to the complications from the twins birth my daughter in law had her tubes tied. This allowed them I get a policy without maternity. That is the reason their current insurance is noncompliant.

    He hasn't been able to get a quote yet (or at least hasn't told me) but I expect it will be more, which means I'll get to hear about it forever.

    I, for one understand shared risk and understand why, but he is upset he has to pay for something he will not use.

    •  I'm curious (4+ / 0-)

      What is the content of these letters?

      Do they just say that the current plan is cancelled and here is our ACA compliant plan which is most similar to your previous plan and here is the price?

      The price is often higher.

      Or do the letters say that your current plan is cancelled and you should shop on the exchange to find a plan (regardless of insurance company) that best meets your needs and is affordable to you?

      Does the letter also say that if you purchase on the Exchange you may qualify for some amount of subsidy which will lower your effective premiums?

      I really suspect that the letters are worded as above. If that's true then part of what's happening in this clusterf**k is that the insurance companies are really exacerbating this situation in order to squeeze one last drop of blood from their client base before the law fully engages. In the process they're delivering a major blow to the law (and the president by proxy).

      If the situation is as I suspect then really there should be some administration and HHS/CMS people screaming from the rooftops to inform people of what's going on.

      •  because health care access in this country is so (0+ / 0-)

        individualized and different for almost everyone, pretty hard to get a handle on what is happening...so if you hate Obama, it's Obama's fault

      •  It depends on the state (0+ / 0-)

        Different states have different requirements for when and how insurance companies must handle policy changes and how those changes are communicated to consumers.

        That's why some policies must be outright canceled, instead of modified, and that's why the language is so inconsistent.

        "I can't come to bed yet! Someone is WRONG on the Internet!" - XKCD

        by SingularExistence on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 05:46:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  He needs to understand (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kefauver, middleagedhousewife

      That he is one of the people who has used the full value of his insurance. The Obama plans have to account for people like him. Before now insurance companies could cherry-pick to avoid people like him. Without the Obama provision for no pre-existing condition exclusions, if he lost insurance he would never have been able to buy it again. (We had employees who came to us i in such a situation, by the way.)

      Is there any possibility he has any compassion for anyone else, or he does he only think about himself all the time?

    •  Given the previous health problems, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      middleagedhousewife, akmk

      the medical underwriting that went into the previous plan was probably significant.  Your son very well may be among those the exchanges are designed to help.

      On the glass-half-full side, this will be the last time his plan is canceled, and he's free to choose something different if it suits him, without worrying about the pre-existing conditions.

  •  hmm sounds like a republican idea (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmacdDE, True North, kefauver
    They're also not talking about the fact that people now have options, in lots of states, lots of options, and they don't have to take what their current health insurer is selling.
    competition - isn't that what they kept flogging in their 'alternatives'?
    •  I agree, but some folks just don't want to hear (0+ / 0-)

      that...especially if someone else, like an employer or former employer, has been paying the bill and now they might have to come under the same rules as everyone else.

  •  Great post, Joan. (10+ / 0-)

    The hardest thing about Obamacare for many, is that is is CHANGE. Doesn't matter that it was hell to find decent insurance if you are self employed or underemployed. Doesn't matter that countless Americans will benefit from striking down the pre-exisiting condition clause, and disposing of caps on coverage. Doesn't matter that this country will greatly benefit from holding insurance companies responsible to spend 80% of their income on actual HEALTH CARE.

    Which still leaves them a freaking juicy 20% to get rich on, and when it comes to health care, that's a fortune these days. And you know, they ought to be damn thankful for that now, because the writing really is on the wall. We WILL become a single payer nation eventually, because that's really the only way to do this, as those more civilized than us know.

    So I say to health care insurance companies, gather your roses while you may, and quit trying to undermine Obamacare. The ACA gives you a chance to make this work longer, if not forever, or not even close.

    If I were a health care insurance executive these days, I'd be bending over backwards to make Obamacare work, for the time it provides a bridge to single payer.

    Think of all the companies in America who had to change and adapt or die. Think of say, Blockbuster, and/or many of the large and small businesses that flourished allowing us to rent movies and TV shows. Now you can't find a video store anywhere. Their time has passed.

    And so too will health care insurance companies. But until then, it would behoove them to try to extend their time, rather than give us more reason to be done with them.  

    "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

    by StellaRay on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 05:58:26 PM PDT

  •  Now I'm confused. (0+ / 0-)

    I went to the fed exchange to check prices, and was told that since my employer offered me insurance, I wasn't eligible to participate. I got a letter from my employer stating that my plan meets federal requirements. It's costing me 200 bucks a month, and it's not a good plan.
    I guess I could shop around outside the exchange? But then I'd lose my employer contribution, and not be getting a subsidy. So I'm still fucked, I guess

    Only thing more infuriating than an ignorant man is one who tries to make others ignorant for his own gain. Crashing Vor

    by emmasnacker on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 06:13:35 PM PDT

  •  you should have heard the comments (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kefauver, howarddream, Old Sailor

    from the knuckle-draggers today

  •  Common sense is always assumed (8+ / 0-)

    Look at that President Obama quote again.

    He says, "You can keep your own doctor." He said what he said, but it has to be understood in the context of basic common sense.

    Nobody would accept that as a flat out personal promise to each and every citizen.  Right?  He didn't have to add, you can keep your doctor  "except when your doctor gets fed up with Aetna and refuses to accept Aetna insurance anymore", and he didn't have to add, "except if your doctor decides to retire early, or sell his practice and go be a staff doc somewhere, because he is fed up with the changes and turmoil in the health care system."  He didn't have to add, "except when your insurer decides to pare down its provider network and your present doctor doesn't make the cut."

    My son had an allergist who got into a dispute with Aetna and sent a letter to every person in her practice saying she would no longer accept Aetna insurance, and we had to find a new allergist.  That kind of stuff has always happened.

     My own doctor sold his practice to a big regional hospital system and retired early.  Arguably, the big hosptial system has been buying up primary care practices because of the ACA.  So I didn't get to keep my doctor. I guess that makes President Obama a liar because my personal reality didn't live up to his rhetoric, according to the logic being applied by some.

    It's the same with the insurance plans.  President Obama didn't have to say that you can keep your own insurance "except if the insurer for business reasons decides to discontinue offering that plan", and "except if your health insurer for business reasons pulls out of the market in your state", and "except if your health insurer becomes insolvent and goes into receivership."  

    It's just common sense that not everything is within his control.  Anyone with common sense and experience with the ways of the world knew that the health care system has many "players" in it other than the President and the Democratic members in Congress.  As it turned out, even the Supreme Court had a hand in amending the law, leaving millions of the uninsured without the coverage they were promised.  What about that?  Who is speaking up for them?

  •  In which case, the law/regs should have (0+ / 0-)

    mandated that insurers tell people about the exchanges such letters.

    Insurers are sending out these letters, telling people they'll be automatically enrolled in other, more expensive plans. They're not telling people they can shop around for a better deal. Which is precisely the point of the health insurance exchanges. These insurers are betting that people will go the route of least resistance, and just fork up the money for the plan they're being pushed toward. Of course insurers are doing that! They're going to squeeze whatever extra money they can get out of people because that's what they do.
    If this is an obvious outcome, then this obvious outcome should have been planned for and thwarted.  Lots of the mail I get has disclaimers and notices and This Is Not A Bill and so forth.

    Of course the government can't predict every bit of shady behavior.  But if this was so predictable, they should have.

    © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Wed Oct 30, 2013 at 08:29:54 PM PDT

  •  Our employee plan is gone (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HiKa, middleagedhousewife, akmk

    Because our small business employees are going on the exchange for a better cheaper plan.

    They are thrilled. We had only had one plan ever offered to us, and it was expensive and got more so every year. We are all glad to see the hind end of it.

    Buh-bye.

  •  Some people ARE losing their health insurance (0+ / 0-)

    I understand the diary is specifically talking about another topic, which is the current issue of what the president said vs. what people perceive happening with their insurance.  (And the point that losing junk insurance to get something better is a good thing.)  

    But...

    There's a giant hole in the ACA regarding medicaid and the expansion.  A number of companies have tossed their employees onto the exchanges, and in states that did not accept the medicaid expansion, many of these employees are finding themselves suddenly without any affordable options for insurance at all.  These are typically retail workers being kept to under 40 hours/week, and not making enough money to buy any insurance without a subsidy.  They are poorer than the people being given 100% subsidies on the exchanges!

    Another interesting phenomenon is the "private exchanges" that are cropping up, and the way big companies are dumping employees and retirees onto those.  People in this position don't get the options available in the public exchanges, and further loopholes in the ACA exempt retiree plans from some of the benefits the law provides to everyone else.  Speaking personally, as a retiree, I can say that what's being offered to me is completely unaffordable at 1500/month for 2 people.  

    One may argue that it's the state-level republicans preventing people from getting the medicaid plans, but how did such a stupid loophole get into the ACA to begin with, and why isn't anyone doing anything about it?  It's nice to see all the ACA success stories and the pushback on the conservative lies about the ACA, but where is the outrage that America's working poor have been dumped on their collective asses?

    At least, can we not go around saying "no one has lost their health insurance?"  It makes us sound like we don't know and don't care about these people.
    '

    •  Your point is right about state-level R's(holes) (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kefauver, a2nite, akmk

      screwing over folks just so they can stay tight with their buddies and keep their campaign funding in place. As to your question about how this situation was not thwarted before it began - without these game-playing opportunities included, the whole act would never have passed because, I'm sure you remember, Ted Kennedy passed away and he was replaced by a no account Republican, so the R's could filibuster all session, so had to be cut into to the deal somehow. It sucks. But that is the price that was and is being paid for progress. The ACA will have a lot more people covered than previously, so from a public policy viewpoint, it is a good thing.
      But you're right to point out that it's not all kittens and ribbons.
      I suspect the ACA negotiators from the Dem side figured that R-state wankery won't be sustainable as people see ACA working in other states, so they will fall into line - hopefully sooner rather than later. (eg Kasich in OH).

  •  Chris Hayes did a great job with Wendell Potter (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kefauver, a2nite, HiKa

    last night, explaining the basic fact that the insurance companies don't want to help foster competition.  Their letters reflect only their own company's perspective on your situation.  Of course they don't want to tell you what options you have, or that there is competition now.

    In other words, there is a MARKET for insurance now:  competition.  I thought this was supposed to be the American way.  Who cares if the market was enabled by the government?  (Most of our industries' markets are, in fact enabled or flat out created that way).

    It is quite telling that insurance companies send letters like this, and shows what happens when our fate is left in the hands of a corporation, who is beholden only to profit for shareholders.

    All of the above facts point very clearly to the disingenuous nature of the attacks from the gop.  CERTAINLY the US govt is not in the health care business, and the idea that it is anything but a private sector business endeavor is an outright lie.

    Ayn sucks. Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer.

    by Floyd Blue on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 04:44:38 AM PDT

  •  the ripple effect as people lose their fear (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, HiKa, kefauver

    of being held hostage by their insurance provider, or their employer, is going to be huge.

  •  And, it will be better. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HiKa, kefauver

    And, whether or not the insurance costs more, the policy will be better.

    Yeah. The ACA requires you to buy insurance (or pay a fine). How can anyone be surpri9sed by that? With only a few exceptions, it requires you to buy real insurance. Tht shouldn't be any great surprise either.

    The only people who could possibly afford high deductibles and high copay and still be insured are rich enough that I'm not crying for them to have to buy something better.

  •  Again (0+ / 0-)

    No amount of technology can fix stupid.

  •  People THINK that this crap insurance they (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HiKa, kefauver

    bought would work.  They need to watch the movie Rainmaker to understand how bullshit insurance doesn't work but yields great profits for those who issue the policies.

    Speak softly and carry a big can of tuna.

    by Cat Whisperer on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 01:59:35 PM PDT

  •  The cancelation kerfuffle (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HiKa

    First, this is just another example of why we should have gone for a single-payer system, leaving the private sector carriers to sell "Cadillac" policies and coverage for voluntary, cosmetic surgery and such.

    Second, the Administration should have been more forthright from the outset about the fact that making insurers start selling a quality product which could not be canceled for using it was going to make the product more expensive.  They should have emphasized the fact that everyone who was getting quality insurance would be unaffected, but the rationale behind the individual mandate was everybody in in exchange for everybody being covered.

    Third, maybe a future Democratic Administration will acknowledge what we've known for years, the Federal Government can provide comprehensive, universal health insurance more cheaply and more efficiently than the private sector can and will do something about it.

    "The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little. " --Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by jg6544 on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 02:18:19 PM PDT

  •  In about a month, I'll be sending a letter (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HiKa, kefauver

    to the provider of my crappy insurance policy letting them know that I'm dropping them! Because, I now have access to many affordable options that will provide me with real coverage under the ACA.

    NOTE: if you don't qualify for a subsidy, you don't need to wait for healthcare.gov. Just apply directly to the company for the policy you want.

    Earth will survive. Humanity? Earth doesn't really care. Don't take it personally.

    by dpwks on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 03:00:49 PM PDT

  •  I worked in health insurance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kefauver

    when MA instituted its health care reform law in 2008. One of the stipulations of the law was to have "minimum creditable coverage" i.e. real coverage and not some inexpensive paperwork that didn't protect you.
    Shame on reporters who can't grasp this concept!

    I wish we were talking more about how the system needs the "young invincibles" who are young, healthy and who don't, on average, make many claims. Prior to and during rollout in MA, they advertised all summer on Red Sox broadcasts and at Fenway Park to entice this demographic to sign up for health care coverage.
    Republicans had a fit when the ACA folks proposed  advertising during NFL games because they know it works!

    Obama's folks would be smart to say, "Yes, this is challenging in the beginning but it's worthwhile long-term."
    Here's next year's Republican talking point: Prices didn't go down like Obama said."  In MA, they didn't go down after one year, either.  Why? People don't change habits over night.  Too many were still showing up to the ER ($500 per visit to the system) vs. a doctor's office ($150 per visit to the system).

    While not a panacea, it's working in MA.  The toughest thing about selling this kind of reform is the goal is to "bend the cost curve." While important, it's not an effective rallying cry.

  •  AHC (0+ / 0-)

    Yes some of these people are like sheep. If they take the time and be patient they will get some real coverage. They are getting ripped off now. Paying big money and getting nothing in return.

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