100 Million More Could Lose Insurance Under Obamacare

Image: 100 Million More Could Lose Insurance Under Obamacare

Wednesday, 20 Nov 2013 07:16 PM

By Todd Beamon

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As many as 100 million Americans could lose their health insurance through their employers next fall because the plans do not meet the standards of Obamacare, a study released on Wednesday by the American Enterprise Institute estimated.

Affecting mostly employees of small businesses, these cancellations would be in addition to the nearly five million Americans who have already lost their coverage since Obamacare's individual mandate took effect on Oct. 1, Fox News reports.

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"The impact I'm mostly worried about is on small, young, entrepreneurial firms that will suddenly face much higher health insurance premiums if they want to offer health insurance to their employees," AEI resident scholar Stan Veuger told Fox. "I think for a lot of other businesses . . . they can just send their employees to the exchanges or offer them a fixed subsidy every month to buy health insurance themselves."

According to an analysis of estimates by the Obama administration by the conservative think tank, employees at half to two-thirds of the nation's small companies could lose their healthcare plans, and the cancellations would fall just before next year's congressional elections.

The AEI's report comes as problems continue to plague President Barack Obama's signature domestic policy initiative. Top technology officials told Congress on Tuesday that the main Obamacare website, HealthCare.gov, may not be fully operational by the end of the month, as the president has promised.

In addition, the healthcare program may face yet another legal challenge over whether states can provide voter registration applications to Americans shopping for health insurance.

Six states — California, Connecticut, Maryland, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont, all Democratic strongholds — have said they would abide by the 1993 National Voter Registration Act on their healthcare exchanges.

The law requires government agencies to offer individuals the opportunity to register to vote.

Under the Affordable Care Act, companies with fewer than 50 employees are exempted from providing health insurance. If they do, however, the policies must meet conditions set by the healthcare law, Fox reports.

Some businesses renewed their insurance policies before the end of this year to circumvent the law. But they will have to offer plans that comply with Obamacare starting in 2015, the AEI's Scott Gottlieb says.

As such, the cancellation notices will most likely start going out around October, Gottlieb said.

Either the companies will have to acquire new plans — generally at higher costs — or they will be forced to send workers to the Obamacare exchanges, Fox reports.

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