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Insurers Hiding Obamacare Benefits From Consumers
Last comment by Sheran 2 years ago.

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Across the country, insurance companies have sent misleading letters to consumers, trying to lock them into the companies' own, sometimes more expensive health insurance plans rather than let them shop for insurance and tax credits on the Obamacare marketplaces -- which could lead to people spending thousands more for insurance than the law intended. In some cases, mentions of the marketplace in those letters are relegated to a mere footnote, which can be easily overlooked.

The extreme lengths to which some insurance companies are going to hold on to existing customers at higher price, as the Affordable Care Act fundamentally re-orders the individual insurance market, has caught the attention of state insurance regulators.

The insurance companies argue that it's simply capitalism at work. But regulators don't see it that way. By warning customers that their health insurance plans are being canceled as a result of Obamacare and urging them to secure new insurance plans before the Obamacare launched on Oct. 1, these insurers put their customers at risk of enrolling in plans that were not as good or as affordable as what they could buy on the marketplaces.

TPM has confirmed two specific examples where companies contacted their customers prior to the marketplace's Oct. 1 opening and pushed them to renew their health coverage at a higher price than they would pay through the marketplace. State regulators identified the schemes, but they weren't necessarily able to stop them.

It's not yet clear how widespread this practice became in the months leading up to the marketplace's opening -- or how many Americans will end up paying more than they should be for health coverage. But misleading letters have been sent out in at least four states across the country, and one offending carrier, Humana, is a company with a national reach.

"If you're an insurance company, you're trying to hang onto the consumers you have at the highest price you can get them," Laura Etherton, a health policy analyst at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, told TPM. "You can take advantage of the confusion about what people get to have now. It's a new world. It's disappointing that insurance companies are sending confusing letters to consumers to take advantage of that confusion. The reality is that this could do real harm."

Before Obamacare, Donna paid a $724 monthly premium for $10,000 deductible, catastrophic health coverage from LifeWise, a subsidiary of the state's Blue Cross/Blue Shield affiliate. She asked that TPM withhold her last name because she was disclosing personal financial information.


Latest Activity: Nov 06, 2013 at 6:01 PM

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PoliticsNation commented on Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 18:20 PM

Sebekm- get over it. Obamacare is here to stay and by the end of the year-you want be able to separate people from it. You can rant and rave but people want it to work not fail.

Sheran commented on Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 19:12 PM

PN if you think for one damn second that we are going to give out our personal info on a web site that is not secure, or call a navigator that could be a convicted felon! YOU ARE SADLY MISTAKING.... I'd rather pay the fine and keep my credit score!

PoliticsNation commented on Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 19:19 PM

@Sheran. If you were informed you would know that you don't have to go on a sight to give out your information. I'm going to post an article just for you.

Sheran commented on Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 19:22 PM

Don't waste your time "Navigator".

PoliticsNation commented on Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 19:37 PM

Navigator..I welcome the title..Yes, I love my president and I'm excited about the resurrection of minority voters. I'm excited that minorities are having discussions about politics and how the process works, I'm excited that minorities realize that there vote counts and will make a difference. Be blessed Sheran.

Sheran commented on Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 20:14 PM

I'm glad your proud of YOUR president PN, as you and most of your friends being a part of the entitled many should. I, how ever, being part of the working poor paying your way and my bills at the same time, is not proud of your President. As former life long democrat I am now ashamed to admit that fact for it is not the southern democratic party it once was in it's greatness that was once for the working poor it is now the Dumbacrat entitlement party.

PoliticsNation commented on Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 20:22 PM

Unfortunately, You don't know anything about me. Entitled...I wouldn't know what that feels like..I've worked hard to earn my education and pay my fair share of tax as well. I"m proud of my accomplishments, and I love my life..I love being me. I'm sorry you don't feel the same about your life or yourself. Poor is a mindset and you seem to have your mind set on being poor bitter and hateful. Your in my prayers.

Sheran commented on Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 20:30 PM

Thank you Pn for your prayers and thoughts, I need all of them I can get in these economic times.

Sheran commented on Wednesday, Nov 06, 2013 at 23:35 PM

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