Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


February 4, 2014

State officials, Republican lawmakers disagree on coverage losses

FRANKFORT — Anyone listening to the political debate about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act – Obamacare to the law’s critics – in Kentucky has heard claims that large numbers of people saw their insurance plans cancelled.

Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell says the number is 280,000. State Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said last week the number is 165,000.

Kentucky’s Department of Insurance says virtually no one forcibly lost insurance coverage, although some may have had to change plans and may have had to pay more for better coverage.

In fact, said Ronda Sloan, Public Information Officer for DOI, the 280,000 figure represents the entire number of Kentuckians who were covered by private individual or small group plans before the ACA implementation. For that number to be correct, all of them would have had to lose coverage.

Sloan said 48,302 of the 280,000 Kentuckians’ existing health plans were “grandfathered in” under the new law because those policies met the law’s requirements for minimum coverage when the measure was signed into law.

The law sets minimum standards of coverage, sometimes called essential benefits, which all policies henceforth must offer – no more limits on life-time coverage; no refusal for pre-existing conditions; coverage of preventive measures.

Some people received “discontinuation” letters because their old plans failed to meet those standards, Sloan said, but that’s different from a cancellation. Sloan said those whose policies were discontinued were at the same time offered a new plan that meets the standards.

“This was not ‘losing coverage.’ It actually presented consumers with a wonderful opportunity to examine plans and shop around, knowing they couldn’t be denied coverage,” Sloan said.

Famously or infamously, President Barack Obama promised: “If you like your plan, you can keep it.” But that turned out not to be true and there was enormous criticism which was widely covered by the media. Obama subsequently said individuals would be given a year-long extension period during which they could keep their plans so long as the insurance company continued to offer it.

Text Only
Local News
Local Sports
College Basketball
CNHI News Service Originals
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Newspaper National Network
SEC Zone