The Corner

500,000 Californians Lose Health Policies

My wife, the syndicated San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra J. Saunders, has learned that at least 500,000 Californians may lose their health insurance next year — and that’s a conservative estimate. From her Token Conservative blog:

According to this link 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. (If they bought a plan after March 2010, their coverage is not grandfathered.) This is a 2012 number, but if the number of people with private coverage hasn’t changed much in the last ten months, that’s half a million Californians who will lose their coverage.

Those canceled policies will have to be replaced with Obamacare-approved insurance:

California Association of Health Plans president Pat Johnston told me that by law providers must cancel non-grandfathered individual policies. (It is my understanding some folks will lose their coverage at year’s end, others might be able to extend into 2014 through the end of a covered year.) This probably means premiums hikes for people who “not only were they healthy, they also probably were very savvy shoppers.” This is a small corner of the insurance market; others may well save money under the Affordable Care Act. But for the people kicked off their individual California plans, Johnston said, it may well be that ”if you’re outside that subsidy range, you’re on your own.”

So much for, “If you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance.” The train wreck continues.

Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

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