Every day it seems we are hearing more bad news about the effects of the new health care reform law. From rising premiums to narrowing coverage, the side effects are widespread, even though major provisions of the bill will not be implemented until 2014.
This week, the Post-Gazette reports that non-profit Pennsylvania insurance companies partially subsidizing adultBASIC and CHIP—state insurance plans for low-income individuals—are unlikely to renew their commitment. The current Community Health Reinvestment Agreement expires at the end of 2010.
Last summer, Highmark stopped voluntarily paying CHIP premiums and major health insurers—including Anthem, Aetna, Cigna and Humana—began dropping children’s plans in response to federal mandates that require insurers to sell policies to families even after children become sick or injured.
And this month, Gateway Health Plan took one of its Medicaid products out of circulation in 17 counties in Pennsylvania, affecting 14,500 customers.
Outside of the Commonwealth, Connecticut’s largest health insurer, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, are raising rates between 19% – 44%. And the second-largest insurer in Massachusetts is dropping Medicare Advantage, leaving 22,000 seniors without supplemental coverage.
To top this off, the Obama administration has spent approximately $3 million on TV ads discussing the benefits of health care reform this month. Health care is quickly becoming less affordable and less accessible—the opposite of what Americans were promised.