Obamacare Will Impact 800,000 New Jersey Residents

“If you like you insurance plan, you can keep it” continues to ring hollow

(NJ.com) : Hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans opened the mail last week to find their health insurance plan would no longer exist in 2014 because it does not cover all the essential benefits required by the Affordable Care Act.

The news surprised some who were unaware that provisions in the new law known as “Obamacare” were forcing insurance companies to scrap some plans they had previously offered.

“The Affordable Care Act is driving many changes to products and pricing,” said Thomas Vincz, a spokesman for Horizon. “Horizon BCBSNJ is actively working to help our members find new insurance plans that meet their needs and budget.”

The changes will impact more than 800,000 people in New Jersey who purchase insurance on the individual and small-employer markets, according to Ward Sanders, president of the New Jersey Association of Health Plans.

Most, if not all of the health insurance vendors have had to create new plans to deal with the requirements of Obamacare which go well beyond the already burdensome federal and state mandates. Does a 21 year old unmarried male really need maternity coverage? How about mammograms every two years? Fortunately, these 800k people can spend days and weeks sitting on-line and on the phone attempting to obtain coverage. New Jersey premiums were already pretty high, and Obamacare will cause them to rise 10% for a 27 year old female and 34% for a 27 year old male. While reducing the number of doctors and medical facilities available. Increasing waiting times. Reducing care thanks to the Independent Payment Advisory Board (death panels). The lowest cost bronze plan is $332 a month.

Critics, however, say the changes belie the president’s often-repeated claim that if you like your insurance plan, you can keep it.

But state Sen. Joe Vitale (D-Middlesex) said it’s a nuanced promise.

“The president also said he won’t tolerate benefit plans that don’t meet the basic needs of our citizens,” Vitale said.

Why is my health insurance up to Obama?

One reason for the change is that Obamacare cut about $200 billion from the Medicare Advantage program, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service. Some of that money was used to pay for other parts of the law, including provisions that benefit seniors, such as closing the infamous “doughnut hole,” which will reduce the percentage seniors must pay for prescription drugs.

As a person in the comments points out, didn’t Joe Biden and the majority of the media call Paul Ryan a liar for saying this during the debates? Anyhow, somehow this is all supposed to lower your premiums by $2,500 a year. Another person in the comments notes

The prices offered start above 500 per month and require a high deductible and only 60-80% coverage there after. The coverage is not in the same realm to what I have now. There is a policy for 330 that just covers you if you go into hospital….not for specialists or tests.

This was after Mary spent oodles of time online attempting to sign up. Operative word “attempting”.

Advocates of the new law hail the change as a win for consumers, arguing that all plans must now meet minimum standards – that even if these new plans cost a bit more, they will provide much better coverage.

So, now they’re telling us the plans won’t save money?

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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