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Canceled health insurance policy? It may be extendable

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Thousands of Georgians are getting notices that their health insurance policies are being terminated because they’re not compliant with the Affordable Care Act.

The cancellation notices have created an uproar in political circles and in households across the country. Some people are facing higher premiums, and others say they had been led to believe that that their policies could not be canceled under the ACA without their consent.

But many Georgia consumers have an option if they are unhappy about losing their current policy: They can renew it before Jan. 1.

This choice has largely gone unmentioned by the media during the outcry over cancellations. Most health insurers in Georgia are allowing consumers the option of renewing their current policies early, said Jay Florence, assistant commissioner of insurance.

“Most insurers are trying to inform consumers of their options,’’ Florence told GHN on Wednesday.

If consumers are able to renew now, before Jan. 1, they can keep that policy into late 2014, according to health insurance industry officials. But at that point, policyholders will have to switch to a plan that complies with benefits requirements of the ACA.

Regulators in some states have opposed early renewals, Kaiser Health News reported earlier this year.

“Insurers are trying to make sure people don’t fall through the cracks,’’ said Graham Thompson, executive director of the Georgia Association of Health Plans.

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that federal lawmakers and state officials have stepped up the pressure on health insurers to allow consumers whose coverage has been canceled to keep their policies beyond the end of the year.

Blue Cross of California said it would relax its position on terminated policies for about 115,000 people until March, after state regulators’ request to do so.

Vermont’s governor has asked the state’s two biggest insurers to allow customers to keep their plans through March 31, the Journal reported.

Florence said he didn’t know how many states permit early renewal.

Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens has estimated that 400,000 people in the state currently have individual coverage that doesn’t meet the ACA requirements.

A consumer getting a cancellation notice also has the choice of switching to a new health plan now, either in the ACA’s online exchange or outside the exchange. Those policies, though, must cover the essential health benefits required by the ACA, which include maternity coverage, prescription drugs, mental health services.

Insurance experts have noted that the current individual policies often have big benefits gaps and large out-of-pocket costs. And many consumers who go to the exchange can get a subsidy or discount on a health plan, thus making the cost lower for better coverage.

“Consumers should absolutely explore their options,’’ said Amanda Ptashkin of consumer advocacy group Georgians for a Healthy Future. The health insurance exchange, she said, “is the only place where subsidies are available to make insurance more affordable.”

The Kaiser Family Foundation estimated Tuesday that 654,000 Georgians are eligible for subsidies in the exchange. For the many people who have been unable to use the exchange because of widespread technical problems, the federal government says the situation will be corrected by the end of November.

For more from Georgia Health News, go to www.georgiahealthnews.com.

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CobaltGeorge
138588
Points
CobaltGeorge 11/06/13 - 10:50 pm
7
5

How About That!

A Stay Of Execution!

dickworth1
724
Points
dickworth1 11/07/13 - 04:44 am
10
4

Not a fix

The mere suggestion that you can renew your policy and put off what is
covering up the biggest lie from the president to the citizens of America is just another attempt to calm the rage that americans feel. The president
lied and now is telling lies to cover up lies. Once a liar, always a liar, which
is pure dishonesty. Impeach the president should be the cry in this country, but you have obama's followers that will deny any wrong doing.
If this was a republican president, he would be out of office by now!

carcraft
20658
Points
carcraft 11/07/13 - 06:30 am
8
4

HOLD ON A MINUET

You mean those EVIL insurance companies are actually trying to help people? This can't be true, Obama said it wasn't true!

southern2
4212
Points
southern2 11/07/13 - 08:29 am
9
3

S-T-I-C-K-E-R-S-H-O-C-K

Biggest Presidential lie of my lifetime.

OK, some can renew but can you afford it? My monthly premiums have skyrocketed.

soapy_725
43306
Points
soapy_725 11/07/13 - 08:42 am
1
0

Forced State Medicine by chaos. Worked for Marx & Engels.

Unpublished

Forced State Medicine by chaos. Worked for Marx & Engels.

justthefacts
17970
Points
justthefacts 11/07/13 - 09:20 am
6
3

Insurance

If I stay with my current provider it almost doubles. Thanks Mr. President.

Bizkit
21858
Points
Bizkit 11/07/13 - 10:06 am
4
1

My wife and I already did

My wife and I already did this but our premiums still went up $150. But this is just for one year. Next year the letter said we have to be ACA compliant and our cost will at least double (right now double next year could be higher).

Bizkit
21858
Points
Bizkit 11/07/13 - 10:08 am
3
1

Go to the Kaiser site and

Go to the Kaiser site and they have a subsidy calculator. Just look at the subsidy you will qualify for in regard to the higher cost of insurance. Even with a subsidy-my bet you will still pay more now than last year.

GiantsAllDay
8105
Points
GiantsAllDay 11/07/13 - 10:26 am
9
2

People, focus on the

People, focus on the "subsidy" issue. Premiums going higher and higher and a greater % of the population qualifying for a subsidy. That is what this president wanted from day 1. He wanted the hard working middle class who have good jobs to have to depend on government subsidies. That day is now here. You white, productive people who voted for Obama out of racial guilt? Well, you just screwed yourselves over.

deestafford
18151
Points
deestafford 11/07/13 - 10:30 am
6
2

Those who tout the subsidy folks are gonna get seem to

forget, disremember, or never knew that that "subsidy" is just a robbery by the government stealing from a producer. It ain't no free lunch or fairy dust from the sky. It's merely legal thievery.

southern2
4212
Points
southern2 11/07/13 - 10:35 am
8
2

Subsidy?

I do not want my neighbors paying for my health insurance through a government subsidy.

My family has always worked hard to support ourselves without a handout. I resent being legislated into a welfare recipient.

Why should we now become a burden to the taxpayers? This is not moral or is it a reflection of true America.

Bizkit
21858
Points
Bizkit 11/07/13 - 11:00 am
4
2

Astute observation GAD. A

Astute observation GAD. A sure way to get votes is a population dependent on a subsidy and the politician who offers it. But the subsidy is dependent on age, location, number of insured, income, etc. So if you make over 93K no subsidy, if 75K you pay 2/3, if 45K you pay 1/2. The cost of the insurance is high and the question becomes does the subsidy offset the higher cost? Likely most will be paying higher-just now they have all these new benefits they didn't request or may need. The middle class will wake up and realize they are getting screwed on the ACA too. The only people who benefit are those who don't work. Free ride. My wife and I may quit working, give all our wealth to our kids, and become wards of the state too. We find we would live better than all our retirement savings could support. Why bother with all the work and frugality for the future-when Uncle Sam can take care of me the rest of my life. I'm ready just my wife loves to work hard. I think when Uncle Sam takes most of it the next five years she will give up the ghost.

Bizkit
21858
Points
Bizkit 11/07/13 - 11:04 am
4
2

If we can just keep up a Dem

If we can just keep up a Dem as Prez and dominate Congress then within a few years the 150 million work force in America should be depleted to less than 50 million as most will just quit working too and be supported by the govt. Why not? Hmmmm Houston I think we have a problem.

rmwhitley
5081
Points
rmwhitley 11/07/13 - 11:33 am
0
0

Amazing!

Unpublished

Not a lot of yapping from the democratic left. They will still blame this fiasco of a regime and its policies on the conservative right and the insurance companies.

bright idea
468
Points
bright idea 11/07/13 - 11:42 am
5
1

Just wait til 2015

The premiums will skyrocket again and insurance in the exchanges will reimburse doctors at the Medicare rate and doctors will start to quit. They cant stay in business getting only the Medicare rate for every patient.

fedex227
8415
Points
fedex227 11/07/13 - 05:30 pm
2
4

An article that actually helps ...

Georgians by providing useful information about options available to them with regard to their insurance policy (all without slamming the President)? How did this article make it into the Chronicle? Way to sneak one in Mr. Miller - well done.

GnipGnop
10944
Points
GnipGnop 11/07/13 - 09:25 pm
1
0

This choice has largely gone

This choice has largely gone unmentioned by the media during the outcry over cancellations. Excuse me but a cancellation later is still a cancellation. Obama lied and the democrats lied right along with him. Anyone that votes for ANY politician that holds an office now gets what they deserve. Every single politician (both parties) should be sent packing and those that replace them should be put on notice. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!! You work for us not the other way around!!!

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