Obamacare Canceling High Risk Pools for People with Preexisting Conditions

Minimum benefits guarantee causing premium increases for some former high risk policyholders

November 7, 2013

Changes in the Affordable Care Act are abolishing high risk insurance pools across the country, Jim Angle reported Thursday on Fox News.

The high risk insurance pools formerly served as a path for people with preexisting conditions to get health insurance. Obamacare is canceling those policies and forcing those high risk individuals to shop for coverage on the new exchanges, according to Angle.

Supposedly, Angle noted, this would benefit individuals with preexisting conditions by putting them in the larger pool, thus bringing down their premiums. However, because of Obamacare's minimum benefits guarantee, some high risk policyholders could actually pay more for insurance:

BILL HEMMER: It's not just individual policies too being cancelled, high risk pools for people with preexisting conditions, those are gone as well. But how and why? Jim Angle has that, Angle now in Washington. Jim, what is up?

JIM ANGLE: Good to see you, aside from all of the cancellations of the individual policies you were talking about, another part of Obamacare has received little attention. It also results in the cancellation of high- risk pools all over the country aimed at helping those with preexisting conditions who find it difficult to get insurance, listen.

EXPERT: All of those people in the highway- risk pools will be shifted over to health insurance and that's going to raise the premiums for everyone.

Now, but it was supposed to reduce rates for those with health problems such as Vicki Heidet, a breast cancer survivor and her husband Jeff. In they high risk pool they had been paying $813 a month for premiums with a deductible $5200 each. When they got a letter canceling that high risk policy, they expected to get lower rates and were stunned when they found out they were going up instead.

JEFF HAIDET: We were a little shocked to see that one come back at even a higher rate than what our high risk insurance pool was. That rate came back at $950 a month for the policy which had higher deductibles than what we had in the high risk pool.

ANGLE: That's because it covered all of the additional required benefits of Obamacare such as maternity care even for those too old to have children. Once the government allowed people to shop for plans on the website before enrolling, the Haidets were amazed to see that rates appeared to cost half as much. But the insurance company said those were only sample actual rates, that actual rates are based on one's age, zip code and county and state and other matters. But government officials and the website also note they are only sample rates, but Jeff is miffed.

HAIDET: You are going to be shocked. The casual browser is going to see so these low rates which is very misleading.

ANGLE: The bottom line is that even some the people Obamacare was supposed to help most may be paying even more than before.

Published under: Obamacare