280,000 Kentuckians with cancelled insurance plans are getting offers of new coverage, official says

11/06/2013 01:40 PM

State health cabinet and insurance officials are trying to counter frustration and confusion — and political arguments — in the wake of a rash of insurance policy cancellations as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

Around 280,000 Kentuckians will see their current insurance policies be discontinued in the coming months because of changes brought on by the Affordable Care Act, but that does not mean they are being dropped, according to the Kentucky Department of Insurance.

About 130,000 individuals and 150,000 people who hold small group policies in the state will receive letters stating that their policy is discontinued because the plan does not comply with the Affordable Care Act, according to Kentucky Department of Insurance spokeswoman Ronda Sloan.

In an interview with Pure Politics, Sloan said those Kentuckians aren’t getting booted from being covered. Instead, Sloan said the individuals affected will receive an offer with an alternative plan included in that discontinuation letter. As a result, some might see their insurance costs go up or drop depending on the individual case, Sloan said.

The reason that some plans do not comply with the Affordable Care Act is because of the new essential health benefits that were not previously covered. The law now allows states to choose mandatory coverage of benefits such as maternity care and mental health services in Kentucky. And other areas of care, such as substance abuse treatment, are now required to be covered by all insurance.

Some insurance companies are also facing the discontinuation of plans if those plans previously charged an individual more because of their gender or health issues. For instance, Sloan said in some cases insurance companies were charging women more because they could become pregnant. Determining price for coverage based on gender is no longer allowed.

But this doesn’t mesh with the pledge President Barack Obama gave when the law passed that “if you like your health plan, you can keep it”.

On Wednesday, Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell used personal examples in a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate to illustrate the issues some Americans have faced with the change in policies.

“Take Matthew Fleischer. He’s 34 and recently wrote into the Los Angeles Times to share his experience with Obamacare. Matthew recently found out he’d be one of those 1 million or so Californians losing his health insurance, and he says he’s being funneled into an exchange plan that would drive his premiums up by more than 40%,” McConnell said.

See McConnell’s full remarks here:

McConnell also said every day Americans are seeing “evidence of more Americans losing their health coverage”.

But Sloan said the most common misconception about the changes in policies is that she says people are not losing their coverage, but they are being transitioned.

Jacqueline Pitts

Jacqueline Pitts joined the cn|2 political team in June 2012. A graduate of WKU, Jacqueline grew up in Nashville, TN and is looking forward to having a front row seat to Kentucky politics. Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqueline_cn2. She can be reached at 502-792-1114 or jacqueline.pitts@twcnews.com.

Comments

  • James wrote on November 06, 2013 01:54 PM :

    “ If you like your health care plan you can keep it , period.” Barack Obama
    “ If you like your Dr you can keep your Dr, period.” Barack Obama.
    We are seeing evidence every day that those statements were untrue.

  • Robin Kindig wrote on November 06, 2013 02:14 PM :

    Hey ms Pitts-you may remember me. Our new group plan was discontinued. Humana had to raise premiums to cover costs. We were not dropped. But the monthly premium was equal to what our ancillary staff made in a month and double previous. Our assistants, LPNs and RNs couldn’t afford plan either. Humana actually recommended those employee under 90k enter exchanges. With their loss we lost group eligibility. So it was a little different spin. I don’t fault Humana. I fault any person who takes money from a system and doesn’t put anything in, stays uninformed, and votes.

  • Pat wrote on November 06, 2013 03:20 PM :

    So, McConnell rolls out a guy, Matthew Fleischer, who complains that he now has to pay $214 a month for health insurance? In California no less.

    The guy doesn’t even live in Kentucky. But, I do. And for a healthy person with one healthy child and neither of us have any health issues… my insurance premiums are 1/3 of my income. Almost $800 a month. Supposedly because of insuring my child the insurance company tells me.

    Furthermore, what so many journalists are NOT reporting is the fact that these insurance companies are not providing full information to people about their CHOICES in healthcare policies.

    Log into kynect.com to check the healthcare insurance marketplace exchange (this is private corporations here and NOT the government… it is insurance companies giving you choices to look at). Don’t rely on your current insurance company to tell you how to shop around and compare to get a better deal than what they are offering.

  • viewer wrote on November 06, 2013 03:32 PM :

    Let me begin by telling my GOP friends that to date, we have not done anything to help the health care crisis we have been in for years in America. We liked the Heritage Foundation’s plan. We liked to give praise to Mitt Romney when he implemented it in Massachusetts. Before Obama, health related illnesses caused more bankruptcies in this country than anything else. Before Obama, republicans hated their insurance companies. Before Obama, republican children went without insurance after graduating from high school. Before Obama, republican voters who had pre-existing conditions had a difficult time affording or even getting insurance. Before Obama, the insurance companies told the doctors when and what they could do to their republican patients. So, let’s not get drunk on the spin and forget that we had a healthcare problem before Obama. Does any of my republican brothers and sisters disagree with that?

    The people who are getting kicked off their insurance; pretty much(99%) had junk insurance. What do I mean by junk insurance? Junk insurance means that you can go to the doctor, but if you had a serious illness most of the treatments would not be covered. Then, once you were in the hospital, you were just a free loader and no different than the welfare people you seem to despise who are getting on healthcare today. These “junk” healthcare plans, that are being terminated, were costing us, who have insurance, when they ended up in the hospital due to lack of coverage from their “junk” plan. So, when you hear someone say that they were kicked off their health plan; know that they were swimming naked all along and were going to cost us in the long run. It is equivalent to someone having a credit card like ours, but with only a $500 limit. Yes, the cards look the same, but you can’t see the truth of how credit worthy they are by the appearance of the card. The GOP of today likes to run with a story that sounds good. Just like Obama saying, for the last three years, that you will be able to keep your same health care. He knew he was telling half truths. The republicans are telling half truths now, by saying that people are losing their insurance. Neither, solves the problems we are facing today.

    If we want to solve the healtcare crisis in the country, we have got to get serious. We have got to get the insurance companies out of this entirely. The insurance companies can not be telling the doctors what they can and can not do. The insurance companies are in this for profit only. We have got to lower the costs of educating doctors, nurses, PA’s, nurse practioners, and all other medical professionals. We have to hold the public accountable for their own healthcare. We need to get serious about preventative measures for leading healthy lives. There are too many Kenuckians walking around today weighing over 300 pounds, with no teeth, drinking, drugging, and smoking. You see them everywhere. They are walking heart-attacks waiting to happen. We don’t want the government to tell us what we can smoke, eat, or what we can do. But, we also don’t want to take responsibility and look at the costs of what our poor choices total. Kentuckians have a hard time with the truth and reality. If you are a person who perpetuates an unhealthy life by making all the wrong choices; then you must be held to some type of accountability when it comes to receiving healthcare. You have to change your habits and choices because you are costing us all.

    It is time for Mitch McConnell and the GOP to get in here and say that we like pre-existing conditions being covered. We like keeping our children on our insurance until they are 26. Stop trying to repeal Obamacare. Maybe delay it for 6 months and come in negotiating in good faith. Lets work on this. We are not going to throw it all out. We can work on this and make it workable. All the GOP is doing now is cutting off their nose despite their face. The viewer.

  • Daniel wrote on November 06, 2013 06:32 PM :

    I liked my private insurance before Obamacare. I also liked my Dr who has now prematurely retired. I hope my private insurance stays the same as it provides valuable coverage at a reasonable price. Not cheap but reasonable. With the new Obamacare regulations I am not sure now what will happen. CBO estimates that 30 million people will still be uninsured under Obamacare once fully implemented. 45 of 50 states have substantially increased premiums.
    “If you like your health insurance plan you can keep it, period.” Barack Obama
    “If you like your Dr you can keep your Dr, period.” Barack Obama
    This law was sold on a bunch of lies.

  • Jason wrote on November 06, 2013 06:37 PM :

    I just saw a report that indicated that 80% of the Obamacare signups are going to Medicaid not the health care exchanges. Medicaid is substandard health care and will se hurt our states financial condition after the Fed monies go from 100% the next 3 years to a split between state and federal dollars. Unlike the feds Ky cannot print dollars and we must balance our budget. No small task thanks to Obama and Beshear.

  • viewer wrote on November 06, 2013 07:37 PM :

    Jason and Daniel let me give some advice. Study who Enoch is . Do it on your own time away from the office. Might do you some good. You are hurting our party and our people. You will be held accountable for your actions one day. And when that day comes , your reason wont pass the smell test. Think before you post and sell your soul. Words of wisdom. Enoch and The Watchers. The viewer

  • David Adams wrote on November 06, 2013 08:30 PM :

    An offer of new coverage or a euphemism like “being transitioned, not dropped” is meaningless if you simply look at the difference in costs of these plans. By simply reporting this like a ping-pong game with political talking points going back and forth, CN2 serves no purpose whatsoever. We could get this from reading a couple of random blog posts. The story mentions forcing women with no likelihood of getting pregnant and men to purchase maternity coverage, and everyone to purchase mental health and drug treatment coverage and that’s good. But until we recognize that ever-increasing health insurance regulation by government over the last half century correlates with diminished quality of service, we will never understand that much tighter government regulation will only make these problems worse. Also, the ongoing legal challenge in state court regarding Beshear’s rogue implementation of ObamaCare in Kentucky has gone almost completely uncovered by CN2. I used to expect much more from you.

  • Robert wrote on November 06, 2013 08:55 PM :

    viewer, I do not see where either Jason or Daniel said which party they were a member of or if they were a member of any party. You should be more careful in what you say …might do you some good. I am quite familiar with the Holy Bible and know that lying is a sin among many others. You might want to let President Obama know that. Might do him some good.

  • T.C. wrote on November 07, 2013 05:37 AM :

    The ACA is NOT health care reform, It’s health insurance reform and the only ones benefiting is health insurance companies and big Pharmaceuticals. The ACA gave the insurance companies a new pool of 30 million customers, most paying much higher premiums,and by far the most being, of course,paid by the working class. It is time we realize that health care should not be a for profit sector. It is time to put all the stigmas behind us and take a serious look at the fact the US is one of only a few developed countries that does not offer it’s citizens universal health care. It is implemented in many countries with great success. Just go online to any of the many many forums and read the opinions of those from countries with universal health care and you will find VERY few who would trade their system for America’s. It is time we realize not all things in America has to be for profits, and freedom doesn’t always mean free markets.

  • tony wrote on November 07, 2013 07:04 AM :

    It’s simple. Insurance rates have gone up every year and coverage has declined. YEARS BEFORE OBAMACARE. If the government had reigned in out of control profit grabbing insurance companies and hospitals(who claim to be non profit ) all this could have been avoided. Employers, for spite and profit have dropped spouses and some employee insurance contribution. Again, when you let greed take control of reason, you are left with a mess. If the Tea baggers want a cause to fight for, it should be for exposing the greedy companies that are destroying American working class. Apparently the Tea Party members are all independently wealthy and don’t need pensions, retirement or public services.

  • viewer wrote on November 07, 2013 07:41 AM :

    Good morning, Robert. I am pleased to know you know the Holy Bible. Since you know it so well, I am sure you are aware that Enoch was left out of the Bible mainly because Enoch took on the hypocrisy of the church and exposed the false prophets who were going around oppressing people in the name of the lord. Now, I could be wrong, and sometimes I am believe it or not. But, I see a lot of this today among the fringe of the far right. A lot of the far right flame throwers of today walk around mad, fearful, and pretty much have pure hate for what America truly stands for; which is supposedly being a country of opportunities. The truth of the far right today is that they can not keep up with the world. They are living in the times of the fifties, and they want to hold things back. Times and things change. We can sit back like eastern Kentucky has, and pray 24/7 hoping for a miracle; or we can pray for knowledge and wisdom and get up and help God out a little bit for a better America. It is up to you what you do, but the far right has perverted the Bible and the church. We can’t win elections like this, and if you look at the churches they are becoming less populated by the year. I don’t believe that people are turning against God. I think what people are turning against is the hijacked message the far right is sending.

    You don’t have to look any further than the governor’s race in Virginia. The democrat who won is a crook and had no business being elected. The Tea Party backed republican had no business even running. Call me a RHINO if you want, but the Tea Party extreme has run it’s course. If you want to thump your Bible, that is your choice, but you all need to do like the Amish and get a piece a property and stay out of the rest of our lives. The Bible is a tool for a better person. But, just like with everything else, you can get drunk on the Bible and read more into it than what is there. We don’t have a democrat or a republican party in the state of Kentucky to amount to anything. But, if the republican party of the state, keeps pandering to the Bible thumpers; not only will we stay the same in Kentucky people like me will switch over to the democrats going forward.

    I will call Obama up and tell him he is a liar, just like I did George Bush concerning weapons of mass destruction. There are very few politicians and preachers who don’t spin the truth a little to their advantage. The viewer.

  • Ed Marksberry wrote on November 07, 2013 08:26 AM :

    We should be focusing on why our healthcare system costs four times as much as other industrialized nations and why we rank 37th out of 191 countries on performance. No wonder we’re having a tuff time competing in manufacturing and services with other countries. Think of the economic costs our current system is causing and add to the fact that before the ACA, you could be denied healthcare (I have that T-shirt) for pre-existing conditions. Other countries are baffled by our problematic and expensive healthcare system. But when you profit from those who are ill, injured and or trying to stay healthy, this is the results.

  • David wrote on November 07, 2013 09:33 AM :

    Viewer, send your comments to Barack Obama. He lied about the health care bill.

  • Robert wrote on November 07, 2013 10:20 AM :

    Viewer, I just presented the facts on the health care bill. I did not indicate how I was registered or my political philosophy. You brought religion into the conversation, not me. I stand by my comments. Barack Obama lied and many are suffering because he did not tell the truth.

  • tony wrote on November 07, 2013 12:19 PM :

    Robert, give us some specific cases of people suffering from dropping their plan for cheaper and better. Or their employers not offering plans to fit their needs. It’s easy to throw out comments without facts.

  • Heza Putz wrote on November 07, 2013 01:13 PM :

    I give you the Book of Pluto which was left out of the Bible because it spoke of streets paved with Alpo and Kibbles and Bits. Amen.

  • viewer wrote on November 08, 2013 07:30 AM :

    I called Obama yesterday. I told him he lied to the Tea Party in Ky that they could keep their junky insurance. He said that he was sorry and he would put out a statement today to the country. I think he said it would be on MSNBC. Hope that helps. See you ask and I deliver…. The viewer

  • Dee W. wrote on November 09, 2013 10:57 AM :

    “280,000 Kentuckians with cancelled insurance plans”

    Steve Beshear: “Get over it!”

  • Dee W. wrote on November 09, 2013 11:00 AM :

    “It is time to put all the stigmas behind us and take a serious look at the fact the US is one of only a few developed countries that does not offer it’s citizens universal health care. It is implemented in many countries with great success. Just go online to any of the many many forums and read the opinions of those from countries with universal health care and you will find VERY few who would trade their system for America’s.”

    Yes, indeed. Those lovely countries where even the most basic healthcare services are very scarce – where thousands die waiting for care that will never come that they would get scheduled for immediately in the US (for now at least), and die in their hospitals due to not only lack of healthcare, but due to lack of food and water the resources are so scarce. That’s who we should emulate, alright. Well, in the direction we are going, you will get your wish.

  • Dee W. wrote on November 09, 2013 11:33 AM :

    “So, McConnell rolls out a guy, Matthew Fleischer, who complains that he now has to pay $214 a month for health insurance? In California no less.”

    No, Pat, he mentioned several more people than that from across the country, including from Kentucky. And the problems just for Matthew were far greater than what you just described. What is the point of joining a discussion if you are going to just try to throw people off like this? Seriously.

  • Troy B. wrote on November 09, 2013 01:22 PM :

    To offer new coverage doesn’t mitigate the lie that was told by Obama and it actually lends more proof that it was a lie. Maybe the insured that are being cancelled want to keep that plan that Obama falsely claimed they could? Maybe they don’t want to pay for maternity being in their 50s or 60s?
    What about the promise Obama made that premiums would decrease by an average of $2500? I have yet to hear of any decrease, even after subsidies, except for the new Medicaid recipients.
    I know the Democrats want to distract from the real issues but I will tell you, the website isn’t the problem, the product is.
    Now let’s talk about the “apology”, Obama didn’t apologize for his lie, he’s just sorry for the American people stupid enough to believe his lies.

  • Bruce Layne wrote on November 12, 2013 06:55 AM :

    Mitch McConnell is lying about Obamacare, just as our 30 year career politician senator lies about almost everything. He recently voted with Harry Reid for cloture, to end the debate in the US Senate, so Harry Reid could strip the amendment defunding Obamacare from the spending bill. This was THE vote for Obamacare. Then McConnell voted against the bill knowing it would pass. Why would he vote for Obamacare when it matters and against it when it doesn’t matter? So he can run more ads, tens of millions of dollars worth of campaign ads paid for by DC lobbyists, telling us that he wants to rip out Obamacare, root and branch. It’s election season, and Senator McConnell is playing you again, sucker.

    The fact is, no branch of our federal government has the power to force us to buy health care insurance. Period. Obamacare is fundamentally and absolutely unconstitutional.

    Even if you don’t care about our Constitution and obeying the rule of law, Obamacare is obviously a bad idea and a bad deal. Health insurance was too expensive for a number of reasons, but the top of that list was government programs that stifle healthy competition in the marketplace. We’ve removed most of the free market aspects of healthcare and without price competition, costs increase. So the government solution is more government participation and more government regulation? We’re seeing the Obamacare result already. A billion dollar government healthcare website that is an abject failure by the most charitable assessment. Three twenty year old programmers built a website last weekend that does most of what HealthCare.gov should do (and a few useful things the government didn’t think to do) that works much better! Obamacare insurance rates have gone up. Way up. We were repeatedly promised we could keep our health insurance plan, but the plans we liked don’t meet the government’s requirements and our insurance plans are being canceled.

    Here in Kentucky, there is no way that Obamacare could pass our state legislature so governor Beshear created the Kentucky Obamacare health exchange by executive order. Just like Obamacare at the federal level, Obamacare in Kentucky is completely unconstitutional.

    A lot of us warned from the start that Obamacare would be bad. Even though Obamacare hasn’t been fully implemented yet, it’s already so bad that I wonder who could still be in favor of this huge government train wreck?

  • Dave wrote on November 12, 2013 08:59 AM :

    Obamacare is a disaster. In addition, the legislation stipulates that subsidies are only payable thru state exchanges. A federal lawsuit is moving thru the courts and should they rule against subsidies for those in the federal exchange that will be another devasting blow to this law.

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