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Broken promise: Obamacare cancels almost 20,000 Kansas health care plans

By   /   October 31, 2013  /   News  /   No Comments

Part 58 of 97 in the series Obamacare
CANCELED: Almost 20,000 Kansas health insurance plans will be canceled because of Obamacare, and that figure is only going to rise in the coming months.

CANCELED: Almost 20,000 Kansas health insurance plans will be canceled because of Obamacare, and that figure is only going to rise in the coming months.

By Travis Perry │ Kansas Watchdog

OSAWATOMIE, Kan. — As a result of Obamacare, nearly 19,500 Kansas health care plans will be canceled in the coming months, forcing individuals to purchase an Affordable Care Act-compliant plan either privately or on the federal insurance exchange.

And it’s almost certain to be more expensive, said Aetna health care spokesperson Cynthia Michener.

Way back in 2009, when Obamacare was still a hope in the president’s mind and an unknown entity to the general public, Barack Obama made his now infamous pledge: “If you like your insurance plan, you will keep it. No one will be able to take that away from you. It hasn’t happened yet. It won’t happen in the future.”

Figures released by Kansas health insurance providers have shown it to be a bold misstatement, if not an outright lie.

Spokespersons with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City told Kansas Watchdog that large swaths of Kansas insurance contracts will be canceled — they prefer the term “non-renewed” — at the end of 2013 because they don’t meet coverage requirements set forth by the ACA.

Individuals can only keep such plans if they were in place prior to 2010, allowing them to be grandfathered in under the provisions of the health care law.

While the current figure of nearly 19,500 impending cancellations is staggering, it’s only just the beginning. Michener said Aetna, the parent company for Coventry Health Care, doesn’t have a current count of how many contracts will not be renewed in the Sunflower State. Additionally, Kansas Watchdog has yet to receive a response from numerous other, smaller health insurance providers operating in Kansas.

For now, there’s no telling just how many Kansans will be forced off their plans because of Obamacare. Also, keep in mind this poignant fact: The nearly 19,500 cancellations only refer to contracts, which can cover multiple individuals. If we’re defining cancellations by sheer number of persons affected, well, the sky’s the limit.

Mary Beth Chambers, corporate communications manager for BCBSKS, said the group started sending out cancellation notices in September. She said the result has been “a mixed bag. Customer service is getting calls from people who need to understand why this is happening, so we’re explaining.”

So, what exactly is that explanation? Michener said Obamacare mandates a base-level of coverage for health care plans, ranging from the inclusion of substance abuse services to prescription drugs and mental health. And even if you’re a 59-year-old single male, you’ll still be required to carry maternity and newborn care coverage.

“Health insurers will be required to cover more of the cost of care, which is good news for the uninsured and individuals with pre-existing conditions,” Michener said. “However, richer benefits will often result in higher premiums for many consumers who currently purchase health insurance on their own.”

Chambers has been reluctant to say whether Kansas consumers will pay a higher price because of Obamacare.

“As a habit we do not give out average premium costs because there are so many varying factors in figuring a premium that it is impossible,” Chambers told the Topeka Capitol-Journal. “In this case it would not be an apple-to-apple comparison because the benefits are different. Also, how the premium is built for a person is totally different.”

BCBSKC only operates in two counties — Johnson and Wyandotte — while BCBSKS serves the rest of Kansas.

Contact Travis Perry at [email protected], or follow him on Twitter at @muckraker62. Like Watchdog.org? Click HERE to get breaking news alerts in YOUR state!

Part of 97 in the series Obamacare
  1. Obamacare compliance means less money for TN service agencies
  2. The mystery of Obamacare spending in Arkansas
  3. Obamacare raises questions for MD small business owners
  4. Kansas official on Obamacare: ‘Let someone else be the guinea pig’
  5. Obamacare insurance marketplace has plenty of kinks on first day
  6. OR’s Obamacare insurance marketplace hits technological snag
  7. Fail: Day 1 of the New Mexico Obamacare rollout
  8. Senator asks: Do you want this dysfunctional government taking over health care?
  9. Jobs, coverage at risk with Obamacare, MN union health official says
  10. Oregon’s Obamacare ads resemble middle school art
  11. VIDEO: Obamacare vs Affordable Care Act: Comedy triumphs in court of confusion
  12. Patience is key to navigating Illinois’ Obamacare marketplace
  13. Hawaii residents, lawmakers frustrated with health connector glitches
  14. Healthy young, key to Obamacare, aren’t buying it
  15. NM’s health exchange tries to lure ‘young invincibles’
  16. Obama drama: Senator blames governor for big rate hikes
  17. Progressive group navigates Oregon students through Obamacare
  18. Maddening: Trying to log onto federal health care site
  19. You know that one guy who successfully signed up for Obamacare? He didn’t
  20. What’s wrong? It’s been a week, and Obamacare website still not working
  21. HHS Secretary Sebelius back in FL after embarrassing Obamacare rollout
  22. Health centers enroll Floridians in Obamacare as application problems persist
  23. VIDEO: Stewart skewers Sebelius on Obamacare
  24. Obamacare effect? 9 companies exit Nebraska’s health insurance market
  25. Obamacare: Children of undocumented parents face an uncertain future
  26. Which way do we go? Obamacare navigator registration in TN in question
  27. NM health exchange tries to ease problems with Obamacare website
  28. CPA says hype over Obamacare small business tax credit is misleading
  29. Obamacare navigator under fire for arrest warrant
  30. Reports of Obamacare fraud emerge in Tennessee
  31. After two weeks, FL online Obamacare enrollees are hard to find
  32. Illinois state governor touts 100K Obamacare enrollees, all in Medicaid
  33. Kansas lawmaker calls for crackdown on Obamacare navigators
  34. WI health care exchange seeing few getting through
  35. Hawaii’s Obamacare exchange relaunches with more glitches
  36. We’ll know next month how many people in NM signed up for Obamacare — maybe
  37. Zero: Number of Nebraskans Obamacare navigators have signed up
  38. It took this Delaware woman 11 days to sign up for Obamacare – and she was the first
  39. How many people have signed up for health insurance in VA? Who knows?
  40. What else? NM federal health exchange ads stalled due to website problems
  41. Blue Cross hires temp workers to deal with Obamacare glitches
  42. If Obamacare is the next Medicare, will physicians leave en masse?
  43. Three problems that won’t be solved by fixing the Obamacare exchange glitches
  44. Plenty of Oregonians interested in Obamacare, but none can enroll online
  45. Criticize this: Obamacare premiums a near match to WI disclosures
  46. Report: Missourians will see sharp rise in premiums under Obamacare
  47. Kansas navigators say they’ve enrolled no one in Obamacare
  48. Obamacare too costly for rich Coloradans, Democrat congressman says
  49. Study: Kansas premiums to spike following Obamacare rollout
  50. Hang on to your candy: Creepy Uncle Sam is back
  51. Obamacare or bust: NM Watchdog turned back again
  52. Medical journals, experts refute claim that Medicaid cuts ER use
  53. Arkansas spends $4M on Obamacare ads, wants more
  54. LOL: In July video, HHS bragged about being ‘on schedule’ with Obamacare
  55. Illinois uses Day of the Dead to market Obamacare
  56. Sebelius denies GOP’s Terry ‘unreliable’ Obamacare info
  57. About 290,000 Washington residents lose health insurance plans
  58. Broken promise: Obamacare cancels almost 20,000 Kansas health care plans
  59. Top hospitals opt out of Obamacare
  60. Obamacare moves to intensive care
  61. Obamacare provision could lead to more Medicaid fraud
  62. Obamacare: Religious groups want to ‘move mountains’
  63. Obamacare hitting Wisconsin residents with double whammy
  64. Kansas AG: Obamacare threatens consumer privacy
  65. 1,500 in New Mexico have to move out of the high-risk insurance pool
  66. Cover Oregon website fiasco creates jobs, but costs millions
  67. For Florida’s Obamacare small business exchange, it’s crunch time
  68. Only 877 Wisconsinites have signed up for Obamacare, federal report says
  69. Just 172 in NM have completed Obamacare applications: ‘Woefully inadequate,’ says NMIX board member
  70. With only 346 Oklahomans signed up, leaders decry ‘Obamacare debacle’
  71. Defying Obamacare: ‘Send them the bill,’ NM insurance official says
  72. Kansas Obamacare enrollment dwarfed by nearly 20,000 cancellations
  73. Numbers don’t lie: In Illinois, Obamacare means Medicaid
  74. Wisconsin governor proposes insurance plan to address Obamacare rollout failure
  75. Tennesseans might know Tuesday if they can keep canceled health insurance
  76. People demand answers over Oregon’s Obamacare fail
  77. Calif. says ‘no’ to Obamacare freebies, makes own law
  78. HI health exchange violates federal law, League of Women Voters say
  79. Obamacare video winner: ‘Forget about the price tag’
  80. Harvard study finds ‘striking’ rejection of Obamacare by young Americans
  81. HI health exchange has signed up 574 people, for about $348,000 apiece
  82. Are the uninsured getting Obamacare coverage in Illinois?
  83. Secret Obamacare handbook the feds don’t want you to see is online
  84. Lost in translation: Once-supportive Hispanics turning backs on Obama, ACA
  85. HI Obamacare exchange not fiscally sustainable, lawmakers told
  86. Illinois’ latest Obamacare targets: gold diggers and momma’s boys
  87. Now Democrats are bashing California’s Obamacare exchange, too
  88. Obamacare: For $1.37M we get Richard Simmons in lurid web stream
  89. Obamacare: A welcome mat for IRS horrors
  90. California senator seeks audit of state Obamacare exchange
  91. Report: Hawaii ranks worst for Obamacare signups
  92. CA senator sues Obamacare exchange for causing policy cancellations of 1M
  93. Failure of Maryland Obamacare exchange could mean higher premiums in North Dakota
  94. Video: Watch Creepy Uncle Sam make it rain
  95. Five bright spots surrounding the Obamacare exchange failures
  96. Obamacare architect admitted in 2012 states without exchanges lose subsidies
  97. Architects of Richard Simmons Obamacare dance-off rehired in $156M PR campaign


Travis formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.