Study: Health plans dropped after health law may have been canceled anyway

A new study says the health law didn't lead to more cancellations of health plans than what typically occurs every year as part of the normal churn of the individual policy market.

CBS News: Study: Obamacare Didn't Necessarily Lead To Health Plan Cancellations
President Obama took some serious heat last year when insurers started dropping millions of Americans from health plans that were no longer Obamacare-compliant, seemingly breaking his promise, "If you have insurance that you like, then you will be able to keep that insurance." A new study, however, backs up the administration's claims that the cancellations were part of the normal churn of the individual health market. After analyzing patterns in the nongroup health coverage market from 2008 to 2011, Harvard professor Benjamin Sommers found that the market was characterized by high turnover before the Affordable Care Act was implemented (Condon, 4/24).

Politico Pro: Study Questions Obamacare Impact On Canceled Plans
Millions of the plans that were canceled because they did not meet Affordable Care Act requirements probably would have been canceled anyway -; by the policyholders, a new study suggests. Last fall, as cancellation letters arrived in mailboxes around the country, opponents of the law cited them as evidence that President Barack Obama lied to Americans when he promised, "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it." But most individuals who lost plans probably would not have continued them even without the law, according to the study, which was published online Wednesday in Health Affairs. Its author questions whether those cancellations contributed much to the nation's ranks of short-term uninsured (Wheaton, 4/24).

The Boston Globe: Mass. Granted Extra Year To Comply With Affordable Care Act
Federal officials have granted Massachusetts an additional year to transition to full compliance with the Affordable Care Act, giving state health insurers until 2017 to replace their criteria for setting small business premium rates with federal criteria. Governor Deval Patrick was alerted to the extension Thursday by outgoing U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, in the latest federal move to delay implementation of the health law aimed at expanding health insurance nationally. Under pressure from small business owners who feared federal criteria used to determine rates would increase their insurance premiums, state officials had asked Obama administration officials for more time and flexibility in adapting the national standards (Weisman, 4/24).

Also, news outlets examine why "young invincibles" chose to get coverage in Massachusetts and why some in California did not --

NPR: How One State Convinced Its 'Young Invicibles' To Get Health Insurance
Enrolling in health insurance often doesn't make good economic sense for healthy young people, as they can end up paying a lot for very little coverage. Why are young invincibles still willing to pay? (Kestenbaum, 4/24).

Kaiser Health News: What Obamacare? Meet 4 People Choosing To Remain Uninsured
Despite a surge in enrollment in the two weeks before the April 15 deadline to enroll for insurance under the health law, many more Californians have not signed up. And they're unlikely to. Many people are uninterested in health insurance, confused or skeptical (O'Neill, 4/25).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


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