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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

Lodi

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