Fact Checking Politifact
Ruling of "mostly false ruled mostly false: Instead of losing their health insurance, they're, um, losing their health insurance but being offered more expensive policies that have twice as big an annual deductible.
October 27, 2013 - 12:36 pm
Good old Politifact. When everyone else is seeing a train wreck, they can still find a way to complain about Marco Rubio noticing the train wreck.
Rubio mentioned the 300,000 people losing their current health insurance in Florida alone. Here’s Politifact’s response:
On Oct. 21, Kaiser Health News reported that health plans were sending hundreds of thousands of cancellation letters to people who buy their own coverage.
We found the news repeated by several news outlets and blogs, with headlines such as this one in the Miami Herald’s Naked Politics blog: “Who’s to blame for the 300,000 policy purge? Florida Blue or Obamacare or both?”
In response to the news coverage, Florida Blue issued a statement:
“The Affordable Care Act mandates that all health insurance coverage packages provide 10 categories of essential health benefits. Because some plans offered by all insurers did not include all of these new services, they will no longer be available. Approximately 300,000 current Florida Blue members are enrolled in plans that will not meet these new benefit requirements.
“Florida Blue is proactively communicating to these members to help them understand how this transition affects them. Prior to their 2014 renewal date, each member will receive a letter that instructs them to contact Florida Blue to review their migration options. These new plans will offer members access to more comprehensive benefits in 2014.
“It is important to note that a person’s individual situation will be the key driver of what they will pay for coverage under the ACA. Subsidies will be available in the marketplace to lower the cost of coverage for eligible individuals, and the amount an individual will pay could vary significantly once his or her specific age, area in which they live, smoking status, family size, and income are factored in.”
The Miami Herald’s Public Insight Network obtained copies of letters received by Florida Blue consumers. The letters stated that due to the Affordable Care Act, the consumer’s particular plan “will be closed” and recommended another Florida Blue plan.
“To help ensure that you have continuous health care coverage, you’ll be enrolled in this health plan effective Jan. 1, 2014, unless we hear from you by Nov. 1, 2013.”
The letters stated that consumers could choose a different Florida Blue plan.
“We’ll help you find a plan that’s right for you,” the letter stated.
Now, the original Kaiser Health News article says:
Some receiving cancellations say it looks like their costs will go up, despite studies projecting that about half of all enrollees will get income-based subsidies.
Kris Malean, 56, lives outside Seattle, and has a health policy that costs $390 a month with a $2,500 deductible and a $10,000 in potential out-of-pocket costs for such things as doctor visits, drug costs or hospital care.
As a replacement, Regence BlueShield is offering her a plan for $79 more a month with a deductible twice as large as what she pays now, but which limits her potential out-of-pocket costs to $6,250 a year, including the deductible.
“My impression was …there would be a lot more choice, driving some of the rates down,” said Malean, who does not believe she is eligible for a subsidy.
Regence spokeswoman Rachelle Cunningham said the new plans offer consumers broader benefits, which “in many cases translate into higher costs.”
So, instead of losing their health insurance, they’re, um, losing their health insurance but being offered more expensive policies that have twice as big an annual deductible. I know in my case, my costs are going up, but I do get maternity benefits and free birth control pills — but I have to pay more for my diabetic supplies.
(Update: brain fade caused me to exchange Cruz for Rubio. Fixed it.)