Many in New York’s professional and cultural elite have long supported President Obama’s health care plan. But now, to their surprise, thousands of writers, opera singers, music teachers, photographers, doctors, lawyers and others are learning that their health insurance plans are being canceled and they may have to pay more to get comparable coverage, if they can find it.Further, plans that meet the standards of Obamacare are being canceled to prevent them from "[s]iphoning" people from the new health exchanges and driving those rates up. In other words, though previous plans paid for by these New Yorkers meet and exceed Obamacare standards, New York state forced cancellation of the plans so that policy buyers would be forced to underwrite health exchange insurance rates in paying higher rates and having higher deductibles and receiving poorer coverage.
They are part of an unusual, informal health insurance system that has developed in New York, in which independent practitioners were able to get lower insurance rates through group plans, typically set up by their professional associations or chambers of commerce. That allowed them to avoid the sky-high rates in New York’s individual insurance market, historically among the most expensive in the country.
But under the Affordable Care Act, they will be treated as individuals, responsible for their own insurance policies. For many of them, that is likely to mean they will no longer have access to a wide network of doctors and a range of plans tailored to their needs. And many of them are finding that if they want to keep their premiums from rising, they will have to accept higher deductible and co-pay costs or inferior coverage.
But while those policies, by and large, had been canceled because they did not meet the law’s requirements for minimum coverage, many of the New York policies being canceled meet and often exceed the standards, brokers say. The rationale for disqualifying those policies, said Larry Levitt, a health policy expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation, was to prevent associations from selling insurance to healthy members who are needed to keep the new health exchanges financially viable.The sad thing is that it's not just New York's professional and cultural elite who will have to pay higher prices for worse health coverage. Most of the country will. Obamacare is built on jacking up health care insurance rates on the 80%+ who have health insurance in order to cover the 30 million previously uninsured who will receive healthcare at subsidized rates or for free.
Siphoning those people, Mr. Levitt said, would leave the pool of health exchange customers “smaller and disproportionately sicker,” and would drive up rates.
H/T Rush Limbaugh