By Josh Barro
“If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” This was one of President Obama’s key talking points when selling the Affordable Care Act, and it was never true — as many of the 14 million Americans currently covered by individually-purchased health plans are now learning.
As Kaiser Health News reports, individual market insurers are sending out rafts of cancellation notices, telling subscribers they have to change to new plans starting in 2014. Here’s why:
1. Some old plans don’t meet new requirements under the ACA. Starting in 2014, most health plans will have to cover 10 “essential health benefits,” from hospitalization to maternity care to dental care for children. Most will also have to limit out-of-pocket expenses to no more than $6,350 for an individual plan or $12,700 for a family plan. And they’ll have to meet a minimum “actuarial value,” generally meaning that across a standardized population, the insurer will have to expect to pay at least 60% of health care costs incurred by plan participants.