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6 surprise consequences of health insurance reform

Insurance » Health Insurance » 6 Surprise Consequences Of Health Insurance Reform

You could lose your existing health plan
You could lose your existing health plan © Fotolia.com

In 2009, Obama promised Americans, "If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what."

So why are some insurers notifying hundreds of thousands of policyholders that their health plans are being canceled?

The short answer: Insurers are phasing out some plans and are replacing them with others designed to meet the new federal minimum value and affordability standards for individual and small-business plans coverage under health insurance reform.

But Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has told Congress that Obama's promise is still being kept. Technically, you can hold onto your old policy, thanks to language in the law that allowed existing health plans to be "grandfathered" in, thus exempting them from the new requirements. But experts say once you're offered better coverage, potentially for less after federal subsidies, why wouldn't you make a move?

"You can keep that policy, but you may very well not want to," says Blumberg. "A lot of people are going to be making the proactive decision to leave them, so they'll diminish pretty significantly over time."

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