Pa. not saying if insurers can undo cancellations
The Associated Press | 11.15.13
Over 250,000 Pennsylvanians were seeing their coverage discontinued.
(Harrisburg) -- Governor Corbett's administration is raising its estimate of the number of people seeing their insurance discontinued in connection with the federal health care law.
However, Corbett's Department of Insurance couldn't immediately respond to President Obama's call for state regulators to allow insurance companies to reverse those cancellations.
The department, last month, had initially estimated that 215,000 to 250,000 Pennsylvanians -- including people in individual, small-group and large-group policies -- were seeing their coverage discontinued.
Now it says that figure is 250,000 and expected to rise by the tens of thousands.
In some cases, the insurance plans don't include the benefits that are required by the law beginning January 1st.
Blue Cross-Blue Shield insurers didn't immediately respond to questions as to whether they'll look to reverse policy cancellations.
We reached out to the community to hear some firsthand experiences about navigating the exchange, impressions on the plans that are offered, and thoughts on what having access to insurance means. David writes about being dropped from his health plan in the following email:
Email from David
Subject: Health Insurance Marketplace Experiences
I am a self-employed insulin dependent diabetic. Being self-employed, I had to secure my own health insurance coverage, but with my pre-existing condition, every insurance provider gave me an automatic denial. Blue Cross was the only insurer that had some arrangement with the government requiring them to cover people like me in exchange for a very high premium.
But as of October 1st, when the signup for the Govt. Health Care Plan opened, Blue Cross didn't waste a second getting letters out telling people like me that they were dropping us as of year-end and that we'd have to find alternate coverage through the government healthplan.
"It sounds like the insurance companies are using this as an opportunity to 'clean up' their customer base by cherry picking only the customers they want to keep and let the government plan pick up those they reject."
I think the Insurance Companies should have had mandates put to them that they could not use this plan as an excuse to cancel an existing customer's coverage in an effort to unload people like me that I'm sure they consider a higher risk.
In any case, when I found out that I had to venture into the Health Insurance Marketplace, I immediately began trying to get my account setup online so I can get my application in process. But after 13 attempts, the Health Insurance Marketplace system has still not let me even get my account in place, much less filing my application. I've attempted to work with a customer service representative to file the application over the phone, but the system threw her out too.
This whole issue is stressful enough as it is, but having the system working against us as it is only compounds the problem. I just don't think that this system was ready to be rolled out on October 1st, and now a lot of people are being burdened by it.
My apologies for rambling, but I have a lot of issues with what's going on. Thank you for your time and allowing me this opportunity to share my thoughts.
Read more personal stories here.
Tell us: Has your health policy been cancelled? Tell us your personal story in a comment below.