Tags: Healthcare Reform | Obamacare | healthcare | insurance | Virginia

250,000 Virginians Will Have to Change Insurance Plans

By    |   Thursday, 11 Sep 2014 02:21 PM

The fallout from the Obama healthcare law continues in the states as about a quarter of a million Virginia residents will have their privately held insurance plans cut off this fall, forcing them to scramble to find coverage, NBC29-Va. reports.

Virginia Association of Health Plans Executive Director Doug Gray pushed back on the word "cancellation" in describing the future of consumers there in a changing healthcare marketplace, but he did note that thousands will be face to pay much more for coverage, the TV station reported.

"Cancellation is a word that's used all the time ... but really what's happened is the law has changed. We're not allowed to offer those plans anymore," Gray told state lawmakers at a meeting of the insurance reform commission. "So what we're saying to them is, you need to move to one that's compliant with the law because that's what we can offer."

Already some residents have received notices, and lawmakers will be hit from complaints as many residents make hard choices about how to budget for care or face losing it.

"It'll be higher co-pays?" one lawmaker queried of Gray. "Absolutely," Gray said.

The private exchange, eHealthInsurance, says premiums have risen faster under ObamaCare than the eight years preceding its launch, The Daily Caller noted.

On the individual market, premiums are up 29 percent from February 2013 and individuals' premiums now run, on average about $274 a month. Average family premiums have hit $663 monthly per family — up from $426 in 2013, the website reported, citing the eHeathInsurance's Price Index.

For those who receive coverage through company plans, deductibles are also set to rise, further eroding the landscape for consumers and undermining the premise set by the Obama administration of more equitable and broad access to affordable care, Bloomberg reported. Four out of five companies, according to a survey, have already raised deductibles this year.

In Virginia, the issue has entered the political arena with GOP Senate candidate Ed Gillespie linking the rising costs back to his opponent Mark Warner's support of Obamacare in 2008, the Daily Caller reported.

Said Gillespie in a statement: "Because Mark Warner worked to pass Obamacare, 250,000 Virginians are losing the health insurance they liked, with thousands getting hit with huge out-of-pocket cost increases while unable to see the doctors they trust."

While more people around the nation have been enrolled in insurance plans, access to doctors continues to be a problem, National Review reported, noting that more consumers have been shifted into Medicaid, and more physicians have stopped or pulled back on taking those patients — creating a new system of haves and have-nots.

"Nationwide, roughly 70 percent of Obamacare plans offer fewer doctors and hospitals than typical pre-Obamacare plans," National Review said.

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The fallout from the Obama healthcare law continues in the states as about a quarter of a million Virginia residents will have their privately held insurance plans cut off this fall, forcing them to scramble to find coverage, NBC29-Va. reports.
Obamacare, healthcare, insurance, Virginia
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2014-21-11
Thursday, 11 Sep 2014 02:21 PM
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