Yes, Some Americans are Being Forced to Switch their Health Insurance Plans – But That’s a Good Thing

aca1As more Americans begin to experience the impact of the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”), to say the rollout has been a little rocky would be quite the understatement.

While many people are well aware of the issues the website has experienced since it launched at the beginning of October, there’s another growing issue some Americans are facing—those who are losing their current health insurance plans.

But wait, didn’t President Obama promise that people would be allowed to keep their current insurance under “Obamacare?”  Well, yes, he did.  But he shouldn’t have.

Granted, most Americans will be allowed to keep their current health insurance, but it’s unavoidable that there will still be quite a few that will have to choose a different plan.

The fact is President Obama has done a horrible job at explaining the Affordable Care Act to Americans.  He sat by too long while Republicans controlled the message and distorted the facts about the law so greatly that many Americans still don’t know what’s real and what’s not.  Perhaps this is why he now has Bill Clinton trying to do damage control.

One reality some are unfortunately facing is that they will have to choose another insurance plan.  Again, something President Obama assured Americans they wouldn’t have to do.  That’s on him.  There’s no excuse for him misleading the American people on that reality and I’m not going to sit by and tell you he was right for not being completely honest.

What I will say, however, is that the reason why some Americans are having to switch insurance plans is actually a good thing.

See, before the Affordable Care Act, many Americans really only had the illusion of health insurance.  They had plans that provided such terrible coverage, calling them “health” insurance should have been criminal.

What the Affordable Care Act requires is that health insurance companies actually provide decent coverage.  It doesn’t allow health insurance companies to offer plans that masquerade as health insurance.   Plans are now required to cover things such as pre-existing conditions and maternity care—two things many private insurance plans left out for the sake of “lower premiums.”

So granted, some premiums for Americans are going up (Republican obstruction plays a big part in that as well) and some people are being required to switch insurance companies and plans—but neither are necessarily bad.

I know telling someone that it’s good that they’ll soon be paying more for their health insurance seems a bit ridiculous.  But, with the requirements put forth by the Affordable Care Act, many Americans are actually getting “more bang for their buck” instead of just an illusion of health coverage.

So, the reality is that while some Americans are having to switch their health insurance plans (even though President Obama said they wouldn’t) it’s due in part because their previous health insurance plan provided such minimal coverage it didn’t meet the requirements in the Affordable Care Act.

After all, what the Affordable Care Act aims to do isn’t just insure Americans, it also wants to make sure Americans have health insurance that actually provides real coverage.

Granted, this isn’t the situation for every American who’s encountering higher premiums or being forced to switch health plans.  The Affordable Care Act is far from perfect and I’m sure many bugs will need to be worked out as the law continues its rollout.  But even if 90% of Americans end up loving “Obamacare,” the law will never please everyone.  There will always be situations posted by the opposition of “horror stories” experienced by some Americans — that’s just the reality of things.  Do we really think that any law like this that gets passed in our country will be 100% beneficial to everybody?

So, while President Obama should have been more forthright when he said Americans would be allowed to keep their health insurance (the vast majority of them will), that doesn’t negate the fact that under the Affordable Care Act, the health plans Americans receive will provide actual health insurance as opposed to just the illusion of coverage.  And that is, quite frankly, a BFD.

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Allen Clifton is from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and has a degree in Political Science. He is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on both Twitter and Facebook. Have feedback, compliments, criticism or hate mail? You can email him as well.
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  • Pipercat

    I had one of those so called, “policies.” The one big thing added to all new policies is drug coverage; instead of the useless, Rx card.

  • Mike Williams

    Still no responses to my open challenge to anyone complaining about the PPACA.

    The challenge.

    “How has the PPACA impacted you specifically, in a negative way?

    Not a person you know, not a study done by an institution formed to study this very specific thing. Not fact checked by blog-o-wiki. Personal experience only.”

    • Pipercat

      Are you feeding the crickets?

      • Mike Williams

        They’re crunchiest when they’re a-chirp’n.

    • Dime

      The premium on my employer-supplemented plan went up 60% due in no small part to the need to cover “children” until they are 26. Virtually everyone’s premiums are going up because of the “one-size-fits-all” mandates of the law…

      • FDbrian

        My insurance co. offered me 11 plans to replace my current plan. 9 of them were less expensive, 2 were less than $100 more. They all came with greater coverage and I don’t get a subsidy. so not everyone’s insurance went up. why doesn’t anybody report my story?

      • Mike Williams

        Perhaps that would be because the plan your employer chose was a garbage plan that covered very little. Under the new law there are standards that must be met. So now your plan my be more expensive but actually be health insurance.

        Furthermore, your plan will likely lower in price after the first year because of the requirement to payout at least 80% of a collected premium or issue refunds.

        There is no “one size fits all” provision. That is a common practice of decades that providers and employers embraced because it allowed for a greater profit for one and a broader coverage for the other. I refer you back to the refund portion of this post.

      • Dime

        “Perhaps that would be because the plan your employer chose was a garbage plan that covered very little.”

        Nice try, but, nope. Very little has changed in the coverage, deductible, out-of-pocket, etc. What people fail to realize is that by mandating that more people be covered without increasing the number of people paying (by adding adult “children” to those covered) price necessarily must go up. Also, if you eliminate caps for all, even though very few people come near reaching them, everyone’s premiums must go up to cover the costs incurred by those who do.

        This law was intended to drive up everyone’s premiums so that the gov’t can blame “greedy” insurance companies for “jacking up” rates (how else do you explain that men and menopausal women are required to have BC and maternity coverage?) and convince people that we need single payer.

    • Ty Lynn Ocell

      My Insurance went up $120 a month because I’m being forced to buy extra coverage I don’t want or need. I have to pay for maternity insurance and I dont even want kids!

  • cazzy

    I am looking forward to my way improved new insurance to kick in!! So much better, I can now get procedure done on deviated septum that limits my breathing, that I would have had to pay out of pocket ($6,000) for because my crappy insurance would not have covered, and now, because I will have little to no deductible but paying the same as I was before, it wont be considered a pre existing condition!!

  • bodega3

    I am staying with my current health plan. Right now it meets our needs better and is far less expensive. I want to give the new plan time to work the bugs out and then in a year one of us goes to a different plan and I can then afford to change. The cost regardless is too expensive…shameful!

    • Mike Williams

      There is no “obamacare” plan.
      Talk with your provider, you get to keep the plan you have IF the plan meets the standards set by the law.

      • bodega3

        My plan is grandfathered in so I have an option to keep it or go with one of the metal plans on 1/1.

      • Mike Williams

        Your provider may even lower the plan price. Especially if you enjoy good health.

      • bodega3

        You obviously haven’t looked into coverage.

      • Mike Williams

        You obviously have not read the law.

      • bodega3

        You are wrong. It has been my favorite read during my free time. Nothing I have enjoyed better.

  • Pingback: Forward Progressives — Conservatives: When it Comes to Eliminating the Individual Mandate, You Have No Idea What You’re Talking About()

  • Ty Lynn Ocell

    So I am being forced to buy maternity care though Ill never have another child again…just so other women can get free contraceptives? Why do you feel entitled to my hard earnings? My insurance went up $120 a month!!!

    • FD Brian

      We’ll all benefit from having all women covered for maternity and if we all pay for it, it will then be less. Maybe with proper maternity coverage for all women the USA might not rank toward the bottom of infant mortality in developed world.

      • Ty Lynn Ocell

        If politicians didn’t decide who may or may not take a risk to sell insurance in the states we could buy across state lines. If they didnt let the FDA control who can and cant sell drugs we can have better drugs. If we legalized marijuana and stopped giving out corporate welfare we would all have lower and better cost healthcare with out forcing others to pay for it. France doesnt force women to buy products they dont need, their healthcare has better choices does more and cost less. Wake up fool, what we have is not healthcare, its crony capitalism!

    • Mike Williams

      you were already paying for that. look at your coverages now.

      Also there is that funny little clause about 80% of premiums or refunds…

      watch for your plan cost to drop when the insurance company figures out it can no longer provide nothing for something and be over priced as well.

      • Pipercat

        Minor detail that…

      • Ty Lynn Ocell

        I was NOT paying for maternity or mental insurance. Medical Marijuana is not covered and I cannot buy in another state. Ill FAX you my coverage. My insurance went up 120 a month. If I would have renewed in January it would have been $180.

      • Mike Williams

        I do not need to see your coverage your coverage.
        Medical Marijuana was covered before?

        The whole purpose of my post was to see what is really happening to people not to be a point or counter point thing. If your coverage went up so much, perhaps you should look into why it went up so much. It really sounds to me like your previous policy was a junk policy to start with. I base this off of how much your coverage increased. My coverage increase increased as well. only now it is required to pay for the things that I really needed the insurance for to start with. I pay more for my coverage, but I have less actual out of pocket expenses now. That is just my experience.

  • http://www.doubtingdave.com/ David P. Neff

    “And if you like your insurance plan, you will keep it. No one will be able to take that away from you. It hasn’t happened yet. It won’t happen in the future.” -Barack Obama

    “FACT: Nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans. No change is required unless insurance companies change existing plans.” -Valerie Jarrett

    Both of them are liars.

    You are basically saying that you, the government, know more about my health than I do and can pick a better plan than me. That’s arrogance! That’s socialism

    • Mike Williams

      That has nothing to do with socialism. The fact is Barack is a lousy at explaining how things work.

      You get to keep your plan, if it is a real plan with real coverage.
      IE: no more BS plans that won’t cover anything.

      Based on your view that this is communistic, then explain to us how you deal with federal requirements to have states require that every automobile be insured with a minimum amount of coverage.

      Why not wander over to the part of the internet where they keep the Law in it’s current state of existence. It’s called the PPACA and you can find it using that company that is really concerned with your privacy.
      Yes the Google Division of the NSA.

  • FD Brian

    My insurance company is replacing my current plan. I can choose between 11 plans, 9 are less expensive than the current one and 2 or less then $100 more and offer much lower deductibles and better drug coverage. Not everyone is seeing their insurance increase. Look at my twitter profile to see a complete list of plans and the prices.

  • Navy67

    My Mother had a policy that she had for over 40 years. When
    she had a stroke the insurance company refused to cover her hospital bills,
    because she didn’t have surgery. She was permanently paralyzed on the left side
    and was only treated with medication. We had to sue the insurance company and
    they settled out of court. There are a lot of junk policies out there.

  • David Lloyd-Jones

    Look, President Obama keeps making the same damn mistake over and over and over again: he keeps being surprised by what utter creeps his opposition can turn themselves into.

    Who coulda believed he should have said something like “You’ll be able to keep your present policy, unless the insurance folks are so ashamed of that POS they are selling you now that they whip it right out of the light of day”?


  • Rory

    When will nasty people stop the madness! people insurance got drop because their provider is the prickes WITH THE PEOPLE THATS SCREWING OVER THE COMPUTOR SYSTEM!!!!