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Letter: Canceled health care plans are not all ‘bare-bones’ or deficient

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Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 12:00 am

I was surprised when I got a letter from AETNA indicating that my small group health plan, which I have had for 15 years, was being canceled.

When I read about the “bare-bones insurance policies that do not meet the Affordable Care Act’s standards” (Eugene Robinson, Washington Post, Nov. 21), I think of cheap policies that don’t cover basic needs. I certainly don’t think that about the plan I carefully chose to cover my family and staff.

As a small group, my plan does not exempt people with pre-existing conditions. It is a PPO, and expensive. I can go to any doctor I want without a referral. The plan has paid for a number of surgeries, both of my children’s births, MRIs, CT scans and doctor visits. It covers my chiropractor and allergist. It has paid and paid for our numerous emergency room visits. We have been so many times, we have a reserved parking spot.

Even my insurance agent is not quite sure why my plan was canceled. The plans being canceled are referred to as sub-standard, bare-bones, etc. Clearly this is not true. The best guess I was given for my cancellation was that the ACA requires the insurance carrier to use the actual ages of all participants, not a presumption of what the family members’ ages might be.

AETNA is moving me to a new ACA-friendly plan. I have a higher co-pay, but the premium will be lower. I get to keep my same network, doctors and hospital.

So when you read articles such as Joan McCarter (Daily KOS, Nov. 13) make statements such as, “Upton’s bill would allow insurance companies to continue to offer the existing, crappy policies that were in effect as of Jan. 1, 2013,” know they are lying to the public.

Christopher Olsen


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  • John Lucas posted at 4:50 pm on Sun, Dec 1, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    He will be remembered for bringing the healthcare system into the modern age, improving our foreign policy and relations with the rest of the world and most important putting our economy back from the dead because of Republican ideas and accomplishing in spite of the Republican desire to tank the economy for political reasons.

  • John Lucas posted at 4:46 pm on Sun, Dec 1, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    I was comparing the Obama and Bush Presidencies. I know you do not like your hero GW to be brought up but sometimes it is a good thing.Obama is going to go down in history as a great President. Your guy is going down as one of the worst in history as are you political views, ideas and policies.

  • Ed Walters posted at 5:06 pm on Sat, Nov 30, 2013.

    the old dog Posts: 637

    John, President Bush took out Saddam and his poison gas which was his main reason for going to war, you seem to forget the house and senate were behind the President. Concerning Katrina, I believe that was FEMA`s job, blaming President Bush for a natural disaster, and speaking of natural disasters, Obamacare is doing its best to overtake Katrina. I suppose you will now blame the President of the Philippines for the typhoon that leveled that country. New Orleans was and still is an accident waiting to happen. Must have been a Democrat that planed the city that sits 10' below sea level. Thanks to that disaster of a Mayor, who is no longer in office, the 9th ward has not been
    repaired, and without Federal money never will. Katrina will happen again.

    Concerning health care, I belong to Kaiser, they don`t run their hospitals like an insurance company, in my estimation, if Barry would run his Barrycare like Kaiser, good-by insurance companies. [thumbup]

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 2:03 pm on Sat, Nov 30, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    Obama “great?” Perhaps had he been president before the “Information Age” he could get away with such an accolade. But considering that nearly everything he has said and done (and his minions under him doing likewise) are recorded for posterity, the facts will bear out a president who at best will be graded as mediocre. But hardly “great.”

    Also, in spite of recent polls that erroneously show JFK as the greatest president during the last half of the Twentieth Century, once those with direct remembrance of that terrible weekend in November 1963 have died off, that opinion will certainly reflect the reality of what he did as well (Bay of Pigs anyone as well as his romps around the Oval Office with we all-know-who). Oh, and add Clinton into that mix as well. After all, he was impeached - there’s no getting around that little factoid along with our newfound definition of “is.”

    Historians do finally get around to accurately recording history.

  • Joe Baxter posted at 10:55 am on Sat, Nov 30, 2013.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1913

    Still; blaming Bush, eh? Even your glorified White House occupier gave up on that tactic. Honestly John, you gotta get out of your little apartment and see what is actually going on in America and the world. Quit relying on the liberal TV pundits who are spreading their propaganda. Spend some in Europe and listen to what they are saying about America and Obama. I was almost embarassed to identify myself as an American. You keep wearing those rose colored glasses and believing all is well. Obama is a great president? Thanks for the laugh of the day.

  • John Lucas posted at 2:11 am on Sat, Nov 30, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    Yes it was so much better when your here Bush was leading the charge. who can forget the glorious Iraq war, his superb handling of Katrina, and especially how he left the economy is such good shape. In 50 years your guy and your policies are going to be thought of as even more idiotic than they seem today and President Obama will be considered a great President. Go back to to your chain emails, Joe, whose job it seems is to keep you from seeing reality.

  • Joe Baxter posted at 4:08 pm on Fri, Nov 29, 2013.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1913

    "Gettiing rid of the chemical weapons in Syria without firing a shot"? What a crock. If Putin hadn't intervened, Obama would have launched cruise missiles on Syria. Obama was FORCED to go along or look the warmonger.
    "Remembered as the president that got Bin Laden"? Gimme a break. He happened to be the occupier of the White House when it happened. Bin Laden was going to be found eventually with or without Barry.
    "He will be rembered for gaining the respect of the world"? You do know that America is the laughing stock of the planet. Respect? WHO in the world has respect for America today and more importantly who has respect for Obama besides the liberals who idolize him like he some sort of diety? He is an embarassment to America. Turned our allies against us, sided with terrorist and wasted billions of tax dollars on bogus investments, i.e. Solyndra, Fiskers, et al.. But, by gosh, he loves homosexuals and illegal border crossers, the New Black Panthers,et al, I will give him credit for that.

    If the economy is in such good shape, how come there are more people on food stamps and welfare than ever in the history of America? How come more people are living below the poverty line than ever before in America?
    How come people are losing their insurance coverage and can't afford ACA premiums, even if they could log on and enroll? How come people are still losiing their homes? Tell me, John, whre I can buy sunglasses like yours so I can see all the "rosy" things you apparently see that aren't reality.

  • Andrew Liebich posted at 2:56 pm on Fri, Nov 29, 2013.

    Andrew Liebich Posts: 2999

    Mr. Baxter directly quoted the president.[sleeping]

  • Andrew Liebich posted at 2:54 pm on Fri, Nov 29, 2013.

    Andrew Liebich Posts: 2999

    Millions of Americans are receiving letters from insurance companies. BlueCross BlueShield, Humana, Aetna, Health Net, Anthem, Cigna, Coventry, and others informing them that their current health care policies are being cancelled because they can no longer be offered under the Affordable Care Act.

    Replacement policies often involve premium increases of 100 percent or more, in addition to the triple whammy of increased co-pays, higher deductibles, and loss of tax deductions for excessive medical expenses.

    4.02 million cancelled — and counting... [sleeping]

  • Andrew Liebich posted at 2:49 pm on Fri, Nov 29, 2013.

    Andrew Liebich Posts: 2999

    The White House's own TWITTER account is not a "chain email" Mr. Lucas.

    Here is President Pinnocchio IN HIS OWN WORDS admitting his Health Care Plan will ELIMINATE private insurance.


    P.S. Apparently you don't recall what I said when you claimed that Obama would convincingly beat Romney.

    I said, posted at 9:18 pm on Sun, Sep 30, 2012.

    "and remember this video when they tell you Obama won by 2%"


  • Walter Chang posted at 10:13 am on Thu, Nov 28, 2013.

    Walt Posts: 1184

    "AETNA is moving me to a new ACA-friendly plan. I have a higher co-pay, but the premium will be lower. I get to keep my same network, doctors and hospital"

    Christopher's letter reads like a conflation of recent Facebook postings...

    But at least it has a happy ending!!


  • John Lucas posted at 9:19 am on Thu, Nov 28, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    He is so clueless that he got elected twice as President of the United States. Also he will go down in history as a great President for creating Obamacare, putting us on the path to universal healthcare and greatly reducing the healthcare system cost. He will be applauded for getting rid of chemical weapons in Syria without firing a shot. He will bb greatly praised for reopening relations with Iran and making sure they will not get a nuclear weapon. His getting out of Iraq and winding down the war in Afghanistan will be viewed as major accomplishments. His keeping the economy going in spite of the Republican party's determination to try to making it tank for political gain will also be widely appreciated. He will be remembered as the President who got Ben Laden when the comedy duo of Bush and Cheney spent 7 years searching in the wrong places for him. He will be remembered for regaining the respect of the world after 8 years of the Bush team treating others with no respect and subjecting the world to one disaster after another.

    Lastly, he like Reagan being in charge when the Soviet Union went down he will be remembered as the one being in charge when the Republican party imploded and became a regional party of the south with little or no real political power. Like Reagan he will not really responsible for that. Like the Soviet Union the Republican party is doing it to itself.

    Happy Thanksgiving Joe!!! You know what I am thankful for? Having a great President at the helm who in spite of the right wing crazies keeps the ship afloat and going in the right direction.

  • John Lucas posted at 11:54 pm on Wed, Nov 27, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    As usual overstating your case. It is estimated that about a million and a half in the individual market who had insurance will pay more and a few million will pay less. In the end there will be millions who will have heath insurance for the first time in their lives. this is not counting the kids who stay on their parents insurance, the fact that insurance companies cannot drop you anymore and there can be not be monetary limits any more. In the end it will dramatically bring down health care costs by limiting the amount allowed for admin and people getting preventive care and going to the doctor when sick.

    You right wingers put all your marbles on the failure of Obamacare. In a year the Democrats are go to blow the republicans out of the water. Between the shutdown, the success of Obamacare and the general wackiness of people like Ted Cruz, Sarah Pali, Michelle Bachman, Steve King etc you are not going to like the results. I remember when I told you that Obama would convincingly beat Romney and you guys laughed at me. Write it down the next election is going to be a disaster for the Republicans. and I do not care what your chain emails say. [smile]

  • Ed Walters posted at 11:56 am on Wed, Nov 27, 2013.

    the old dog Posts: 637

    Lodi Memorial and other small hospitals cannot deny service, they will however stableize a patient and send them on their way, most likely to San Joaquin General. The letter writer clames he can walk into any doctors office and be seen without an appointment ? Same applys concerning the AARP commercial stating that you do not have to have an appointment to see a specialist, this I find hard to belive, since that is what my PCP is for. And in most cases can diagnose my problem, therefore saving money by not sending me to see my specialist since it is not necessary, however if my PCP deems it necessary he will set up an appoitment for me. The letter writter sounds like an accident that has already happened. You just don`t walk into the GI doctors office and ask for a colonoscopy, not that you would want to.

  • Joe Baxter posted at 9:58 am on Wed, Nov 27, 2013.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1913

    Here is a couple of fun quotes from our White House occupier.

    “I will let the government shut down before I agree with the Republicans
    and delay this (Obamacare) for a year”.

    “I think the best course of action would be to delay this (Obamacare) for a
    year so the pain of high premiums won’t effect Americans until after the

    Gotta love our boy supplying us with these jewels, strengthens the fact that he is about as clueless as they come.

  • Andrew Liebich posted at 8:37 am on Wed, Nov 27, 2013.

    Andrew Liebich Posts: 2999

    Obamacare is currently forcing tens of millions of Americans to either sacrifice their existing health coverage or pay far more for a rough equivalent.

    Meanwhile... Via TWITTER:

    The White House ✔ @WhiteHouse
    Thanks to #Obamacare, insurers CAN'T:
    1. Deny you coverage.
    2. Drop you if you get sick.
    3. Drop you as a customer.

    7:15 AM - 1 Nov 2013

    557 Retweets 217 favorites

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 6:32 am on Wed, Nov 27, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    "It has paid and paid for our numerous emergency room visits. We have been so many times, we have a reserved parking spot."

    I think this is most likely the key to the mystery. Back in the day I administered a self-funded health plan for a local manufacturing company.

    Guess what? They cancelled our plan, even though the company funded (as in "self-funded) all of the claims due to excessive emergency room visits by employees who could have visited their doctors during regular hours or used the urgent care facility.

    Even emergency rooms - Lodi Memorial does this - will refer patients to an urgent care facility unless you are in cardiac arrest or your arm or leg is in danger of falling off.

    Better call Aetna and find out why you got cancelled. THEY know even if your "agent" is clueless.


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