CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is being forced to cancel plans that currently cover 76,000 individuals in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., due to changes made by President Obama's health care law, the company told the Washington Examiner today.
That represents more than 40 percent of the 177,000 individuals covered by CareFirst in those states.
Though Obama famously promised that those who liked their health care coverage could keep it under his program, in reality, the health care law imposes a raft of new regulations on insurance policies starting Jan. 1 that are forcing insurers across the country to terminate existing plans.
In theory, rules were supposed to allow pre-existing plans to be "grandfathered in," but they were written so narrowly that they leave out many plans.
"Of the 177,000 individuals under age 65 who are covered by CareFirst, about 76,000 of them are in a non-grandfathered plan — a plan that will not comply with the guidelines imposed by the Affordable Care Act at their time of renewal this year or next," CareFirst said in an email in response to an inquiry by the Examiner.
It continued, "These individuals in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and portions of Northern Virginia will be required by the health law to purchase a new ACA-compliant health plan. This phenomenon is not unique to CareFirst and its members, but rather a result of industrywide changes in accordance with new ACA health plan standards."
While individuals in Maryland and Virginia will have the option of shopping for new plans either on the Obamacare exchanges or the individual market, D.C. residents who get cancellation notices will be forced to purchase insurance on the exchange.