Beware Insurance Companies Hiding Obamacare Benefits
The hiccups with the HealthCare.gov website that made enrollments a significant challenge were bad enough, but the millions of cancellation letters that have gone out to those that already had insurance are even more of a crisis.
The whole notion behind the Affordable Care Act was to give more people access to health insurance, but it looks as if more people could lose insurance than the law intended to help. Are these cancellations necessary or is it insurance companies taking advantage?
Washington State Insurers Sent Out Misleading Letters to Consumers
Many Washington consumers have been sent letters notifying them of coverage cancellation that say their current plan doesn”t meet Affordable Care Act requirements. But of particular concern are the letters that offer to place people in new plans that will meet ACE requirements that cost significantly more than their existing plans did.
If this was an across the board rate increase it would be disturbing enough, but because insurers are hiding the availability of more affordable coverage, it seems highly unethical. In fact, many of those receiving letters telling them they are being moved into costlier plans would likely qualify for a lower cost plan and/or subsidies on the Washington state exchange.
Fears about Obamacare May Be Misplaced
Only time will tell if the Affordable Care Act will work out as intended and expand insurance coverage for those who formerly couldn”t afford health insurance. In the meantime, it may be our insurance companies that we should be scared of if they are trying to keep people on more costly plans rather than informing them they have better (and more affordable) options through the ACA exchange.
One national insurance carrier that has been identified as sending out misleading letters encouraging customers to renew at higher rates is Humana. The state of Kentucky fined Humana more than $65,000 for sending out misleading letters that pushed consumers had on renewals and urged them to act before it was too late.
What to Do If Your Insurance Has Been Cancelled
For the five million consumers across the country that had their insurance cancelled, the President”s postponement of the $95 tax penalty for non-compliance doesn”t help much.
Another option for those that have been cancelled is to purchase cheaper catastrophic coverage which will only cover you for extreme medical needs and don”t allow for wellness care, standard office visits or other routine care. If many of these millions opt for bare-bones catastrophic policies, insurance companies on the exchanges could be raking in far less in premiums than anticipated and could trigger a domino effect.
If insurance companies aren”t generating enough profits from premiums, we can expect push-back casino online on treatment approval, denials of service and a host of other insurance company shell games designed to save them money in the wake of anticipated ACA profit shortfalls. If you’re on a healthcare plan provided through the Affordable Care Act exchanges, private individual coverage or a workplace plan, you should be on the lookout for these and other insurance shenanigans.
What to Do If Your Insurance or Treatment Is Suspect
If you have been denied treatment from a hospital, physician or insurance company that you feel your policy covers, you may need to seek legal recourse. If you have received substandard care from any provider either due to malpractice, negligent care or insurance limitations, consult a reputable personal injury attorney like Rob Kornfeld to discuss your possible legal remedies.