JW Nationwide Search Reveals Massive Health Insurance Policy Cancellations Resulting from Obamacare Mandates
DECEMBER 17, 2013
State Records Show Insurance Company Cancellation Notices Specifically Cite ACA Requirements as Central Factor in Decision
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released state records revealing high numbers of policy cancellations as a direct result of requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. Statements in the records, which include filings by health insurance companies with state regulators, directly contradict claims by the Obama administration and its allies that Obamacare was not responsible for Americans losing health insurance coverage. These new records were obtained as part of a nationwide Judicial Watch investigation to assess the damage wrought by Obamacare to the insurance marketplace.
The state records came in response to Judicial Watch public record requests sent to each state’s insurance division, seeking the following:
The number of group and non-group comprehensive (major medical) health insurance policies for which the [STATE INSURANCE DIVISION] has received notice or report of the carrier canceling or non-renewing, or intending to cancel or non-renew, such policies, and for which the coverage termination date is after June 3, 2013, along with the number of individuals covered by such policies as of the policy termination dates.
According to those states that have responded to date, hundreds of thousands of formerly insured individuals have had their insurance policies cancelled or non-renewed due to Obamacare mandates. Contradicting claims by the White House and leading congressional Democrats, the records obtained by Judicial Watch reveal that many insurance carriers specifically cite the new requirements of the ACA as a central factor in their decision, and even inform their policyholders as much. Typical of such notifications were the following from Oregon, where at least 145,000 individuals will lose health insurance coverage:
- New York Life Insurance Company informed Oregon’s Insurance Division that it was discontinuing a group health insurance plan offered to an association and provided a sample letter to policyholders, notifying them of the cancellation, with the following language:
“The decision to exit the medical care marketplace was not an easy one but the evolving market conditions in the health insurance industry under Health Care Reform laws and regulations which are named Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (‘PPACA’) prevent us from continuing to offer competitive medical insurance for association plans such as yours. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding the actions described in this letter.”
- Another health insurance provider in Oregon, Moda Health Plan, informed the state that it was exiting the individual health insurance market there, and provided a sample letter to policyholders that contained this language:
“We’re happy you chose Moda Health, and we want you to stick with us as healthcare laws change. As part of the Affordable Care Act implementation in Oregon, all of our individual and family health plans will be discontinued. That means you’ll have to enroll in a new plan. But don’t worry! We have some great choices.”
- Providence Health Plan notified the Oregon Insurance Division that it was discontinuing its portability health insurance plans, and provided a sample letter to policyholders containing this wording:
“The first thing you need to know is that, due to changes related to the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, all portability plans, including your existing plan, will be discontinued after Dec. 31, 2013 and, therefore, you will need to choose new health plan coverage.”
In addition to the records from Oregon, Judicial Watch has received the following cancellation information from six other states to date:
- Connecticut: At least 26,451 polices will be cancelled in 2013 and 23,504 in 2014. Those will leave 41,169 individuals in 2013 and 38,601 in 2014 with cancelled health care coverage.
- Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania insurance department officials reported that 250,000 Pennsylvanians are losing their coverage.
- Arkansas: With five out of nine companies providing the number of polices, individuals covered, or both; the totals are 62 policies cancelled affecting at least 537 individuals. Chesapeake Life Insurance, Independence American Insurance Company, Madison National Life Insurance Company, New York Life, and Standard Security Life Insurance Company all state that their decision was prompted by Obamacare.
- Georgia: While not all companies specified the number of individuals affected, records reveal that Obamacare mandates will result in 727 polices being cancelled, with at least 1,006 individuals losing their coverage.
- Delaware: Emails between the Delaware Department of Insurance and companies detailing the number of polices and individuals covered reveal that, while not all companies specified individual coverage, the total number of polices listed is 4,599, with at least 9,743 individuals losing health care coverage.
- North Dakota: According to North Dakota insurance department officials, 36,875 individuals are losing coverage in that state.
As additional information from other states becomes available, Judicial Watch will provide it on an ongoing basis.
The massive cancellations are in direct contradiction to statements by President Obama and congressional leaders dating back to the introduction of the health care act. As early as August 11, 2009, Obama assured a New Hampshire town hall meeting, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” According to Breitbart.com, Obama repeated the statement at least 23 times in the ensuing years. Responding to questions on a November 17, 2013, edition of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told the interviewer, “The law does not demand that all of these cancellations go out.” It is estimated that more than 4.8 million Americans have received health insurance cancellations to date because of the Obamacare mandates.
Despite these reports, White House adviser Valerie Jarrett tweeted on October 28, “FACT: Nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans.”
“The entire Obamacare fraud relies on lies,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “According to requirements the administration had written into the law from the very beginning, the Obama administration knew that 40 to 67 percent of customers will not be able to keep their policies. The information Judicial Watch is gathering state-by-state bears that out. These snapshots of information show that Obamacare is causing a national health insurance crisis that demands immediate action.”
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