I Can't Keep My Health Care Plan

OCTOBER 23, 2013 | by DAWN MELING

"If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan."

That was President Obama's promise to Americans. He broke it.

I buy my own health insurance—I have for the past two years. I am a young, healthy, childless female and I have a plan that I like. It's affordable, it covers my needs, and I'm able to get check-ups and see specialists when I need to. Next year, my plan will be gone.

How can this be? According to the White House Health Insurance Reform Reality Check it's a "myth that reform will force you out of your current insurance plan or force you to change doctors."

Laughably, they continue on: "To the contrary, reform will expand your choices, not eliminate them."

Perhaps I should show the White House my plan cancellation notice. Or my mom's. Or the thousands of Highmark customers that just received theirs.

According to Kaiser Health News, Highmark is dropping about 20 percent of its individual market customers. In the eastern side of Pennsylvania, major insurer Independence Blue Cross is dropping about 45 percent of individual customers. And across the nation, hundreds of thousands of families have received notices of plans being terminated.

The White House "reform" took away my plan and replaced it with a number of expensive health care plans that I don't want. The Affordable Care Act depends on young, healthy workers to enroll in the exchanges, but what is my incentive? The guaranteed issue mandate of ACA forces insurance companies to provide insurance to anyone, and the community rating mandate requires companies to charge the same rates to all. The only incentive I see is to pay less, and wait until I'm sick to get coverage.

It took three years, but the impact of government in my health care is finally "real" to me. And I'm getting off easy. Thousands that have lost their jobs, their coverage, or seen hours cut. They have felt the impact of the ACA earlier and harder than I have.

The promises of Obamacare sounded nice, but they've been broken. Only less government, and more patient-centered reforms, will give us all the choices and coverage we need at a price we can afford.

Are losing your insurance? Enduring dramatic premiums hikes or worried about the impact of the ACA on your Medicaid coverage? Send your story along with your name to MyStory@commonwealthfoundation.org.

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