Debra Saunders of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that well over half a million Californians are set to be dropped from their current insurance plan as the Obamacare rollout continues.
According to Saunders, “as of December 2012, there were 491,977 covered lives in individual health care plans regulated by the state Department Insurance that are not grandfathered under the Affordable Care Act.”
In addition, “there were about 50,000 individual and 60,000 PPO policies that were not grandfathered at the end of the year, which would add another 110,000.”
That total suggests the number of patients who could lose their current health insurance–in contrast to President Barack Obama’s oft-repeated promise–could exceed 600,000.
Those dropped from their current plans would then be required by law to purchase health insurance through Covered California, the state’s Obamacare exchange, or else pay a penalty to the IRS of at least $95 or 1% of income, whichever is highest.
Update: The Los Angeles Times reports on Sunday that patients across California are struggling with the burden of higher insurance costs as a result of Obamacare, noting that “middle-income consumers face an estimated 30% rate increase, on average, in California due to several factors tied to the healthcare law.”
Some, Chad Terhune writes, are venting their frustration at the law–and at President Obama:
Still, many are frustrated at being forced to give up the plans they have now. They frequently cite assurances given by Obama that Americans could hold on to their health insurance despite the massive overhaul.
“All we’ve been hearing the last three years is if you like your policy you can keep it,” said Deborah Cavallaro, a real estate agent in Westchester. “I’m infuriated because I was lied to.”