|Thousands of consumers who were granted a reprieve to keep insurance plans that don’t meet the federal health law’s standards are now learning those plans will be discontinued at year’s end, and they’ll have to choose a new policy, which may cost more.|
Cancellations are in the mail to customers from Texas to Alaska in markets where insurers say the policies no longer make business sense. In some states, such as Maryland and Virginia, rules call for the plans’ discontinuations, but in many, federal rules allow the policies to continue into 2017.
Insurers sending the notices to some customers include Anthem, one of the largest insurers in the country, Baltimore-based CareFirst, Health Care Services Corporation in Chicago, Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Calif., Humana in Louisville, Ky., and Golden Rule, an Indianapolis subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group.
One reason behind the switch is that insurers determined they can make more money selling plans that comply with the Affordable Care Act, often at higher premiums that may be subsidized by the government.
“They’re getting a lot more revenue, often for the same person,” said consultant Robert Laszewski, a former insurance executive.
Last year, similar cancellation letters sent to more than 2 million customers created a political firestorm for President Barack Obama, who had repeatedly...