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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Health Care Difficulties

The Obama administration has promised that it will fix by November 30. The New York Times reports on a problem:
Such a condensed time frame raises the question of how hundreds of thousands of people whose current policies do not comply with the health law will obtain new coverage in time, and how millions who may qualify for subsidies will enroll. Some experts predicted a groundswell of demands from Congress and elsewhere to delay the deadlines.
In recent weeks, insurance companies have notified hundreds of thousands of people around the country that their current coverage will end on Dec. 31 because it does not comply with the Affordable Care Act. For example, the policies may not provide “essential health benefits” like maternity care and may not cover as much of the medical costs as required by new federal standards.

In a typical letter, about 25,000 policyholders of Independence Blue Cross in Pennsylvania were informed, “As a result of the health care law, your current health plan will be discontinued effective December 31, 2013.”

Consumers living in Washington, D.C., were informed by CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield that “your current plan will cease to exist” on Jan. 1 because it does not conform to the new federal mandates.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida said it was informing about 300,000 subscribers that their insurance policies did not meet the new requirements.
CBS reports:
The disastrous rollout of may have another serious problem: A CBS News analysis shows that in many of the 15 state-based health insurance exchanges more people are enrolling in Medicaid rather than buying private health insurance. And if that trend continues, there's concern there won't be enough healthy people buying health insurance for the system to work.

As the Obamacare website struggles, the administration is emphasizing state-level success. President Obama said Monday, "There's great demand at the state level as well. Because there are a bunch of states running their own marketplaces."

But left unsaid in the president's remarks: the newly insured in some of those states are overwhelmingly low-income people signing up for Medicaid at no cost to them.

CBS News has confirmed that in Washington, of the more than 35,000 people newly enrolled, 87 percent signed up for Medicaid. In Kentucky, out of 26,000 new enrollments, 82 percent are in Medicaid. And in New York, of 37,000 enrollments, Medicaid accounts for 64 percent. And there are similar stories across the country in nearly half of the states that run their own exchanges.