Your Endangered Health Insurance Policy

President Obama has promised so many times most of us have it memorized, that under ObamaCare

If you like your present health insurance you can keep it.ObamaCare health insurance

This promise is deceptive.  No federal bureaucrat will knock on your door and tell you that you must change to a different insurance policy. But that doesn’t mean the legislation won’t force the insurance company to stop selling the policy you now have.

Standard procedure is for government to force citizens to comply with the will of the elite by imposing higher costs or penalties or restrictions on companies that produce and/or sell products or services.  For example, you will soon be forced to use new, politically correct light bulbs in your home, not by an enforcement officer who comes to your door, but by the store where you buy bulbs.  It will be illegal for them to sell the light bulbs you have used all your life.

Below is an excerpt from the text of the bill now being considered in the House of Representatives, HR 3200, misleadingly named, “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009.”

In plain language this excerpt says the company may continue to offer an existing policy under the following restrictions:

  1. The company may continue to insure you and other existing customers, but it may not sell the same coverage to any new customers.  All new customers must be sold  policies that comply with all the new standards that will be dictated by the government.
  2. While you can keep the health insurance you have, the company may not make any changes to it.
  3. The company may not increase the premium for any customers without increasing the premium for all customers in the same “risk group” by the same percentage.

As anyone who purchases health insurance for employees knows, insurance companies often do change policies.  Usually the changes are minor.  There may be an improvement in coverage, or a limitation, or a change in administrative procedure to improve efficiency. For example:

  • There may be a treatment the company had excluded from coverage due to excessive cost, that becomes available at less cost.  But the company would not be allowed to change the policy to include that treatment under the rules of ObamaCare.
  • There may be newly available I.T. services or innovations that could reduce the administrative burden on employers or physicians or the insurance company.  But amendments to the administrative procedures in the policy to take advantage of those I.T. improvements would be forbidden under ObamaCare.

The worlds of medicine, insurance, and I.T.  continuously evolve and companies have to be able to make adjustments in policy language to keep up.

Eventually, the company will have to discontinue a policy when it cannot make even minor revisions to administrative procedure.

The Bottom Line

President’s promise is a sham.  The legislation is intended to eventually drive existing insurance policies out of the marketplace to be replaced by new policies that comply with government standards and regulations.

Excerpt from HR 3200, misleadingly named, “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009.”

SEC. 102. PROTECTING THE CHOICE TO KEEP CURRENT COVERAGE.

    (a) Grandfathered Health Insurance Coverage Defined- Subject to the succeeding provisions of this section, for purposes of establishing acceptable coverage under this division, the term `grandfathered health insurance coverage’ means individual health insurance coverage that is offered and in force and effect before the first day of Y1 if the following conditions are met:
    • (1) LIMITATION ON NEW ENROLLMENT-
      • (A) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day of Y1.
    • (2) LIMITATION ON CHANGES IN TERMS OR CONDITIONS- Subject to paragraph (3) and except as required by law, the issuer does not change any of its terms or conditions, including benefits and cost-sharing, from those in effect as of the day before the first day of Y1.
    • (3) RESTRICTIONS ON PREMIUM INCREASES- The issuer cannot vary the percentage increase in the premium for a risk group of enrollees in specific grandfathered health insurance coverage without changing the premium for all enrollees in the same risk group at the same rate, as specified by the Commissioner.

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