Aw, New York ‘Cultural And Professional Elite’ Losing Health Plans Thanks To Obamacare

The New York Times reports that many of New York’s “cultural and professional elite,” including musicians, artists, writers, lawyers and photographers, are dismayed that they are losing their health insurance policies thanks to Obamacare . Many of these freelancers are members of trade organizations. The organizations have traditionally offered health insurance policies to their members at group rates, similar to employer policies. The rates were much more affordable than buying insurance on the individual market. But that nice little arrangement is coming to an end.

But under the Affordable Care Act, they will be treated as individuals, responsible for their own insurance policies. For many of them, that is likely to mean they will no longer have access to a wide network of doctors and a range of plans tailored to their needs. And many of them are finding that if they want to keep their premiums from rising, they will have to accept higher deductible and co-pay costs or inferior coverage.

“I couldn’t sleep because of it,” said Barbara Meinwald, a solo practitioner lawyer in Manhattan.

Ms. Meinwald, 61, has been paying $10,000 a year for her insurance through the New York City Bar. A broker told her that a new temporary plan with fewer doctors would cost $5,000 more, after factoring in the cost of her medications.

Ms. Meinwald also looked on the state’s health insurance exchange. But she said she found that those plans did not have a good choice of doctors, and that it was hard to even find out who the doctors were, and which hospitals were covered. “It’s like you’re blindfolded and you’re told that you have to buy something,” she said.

The people affected include not just writers, artists, doctors and the like, they said, but also independent tradespeople, like home builders or carpenters, who work on their own.

Some have received notices already; others, whose plans have not yet expired, will soon receive letters in the mail.

Ms. Meinwald was a big Obama supporter, but said had she known about this she would have voted for Mitt Romney last year. I guess she doesn’t go to the right websites. It’s not like people weren’t warned.

What’s worse is that many of the policies being cancelled were much better policies than what’s available under the New York exchange. And here’s the dirty little secret the Democrats would like people in this situation to ignore:

But while those policies, by and large, had been canceled because they did not meet the law’s requirements for minimum coverage, many of the New York policies being canceled meet and often exceed the standards, brokers say. The rationale for disqualifying those policies, said Larry Levitt, a health policy expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation, was to prevent associations from selling insurance to healthy members who are needed to keep the new health exchanges financially viable.

Siphoning those people, Mr. Levitt said, would leave the pool of health exchange customers “smaller and disproportionately sicker,” and would drive up rates. (Read More)

The article notes how this has become an uncomfortable situation for these liberals “concerned with social justice” quoting one man as saying “We are the Obama people.” Well, now they’re finally getting a taste of what they supported and voted for, and it’s only going to get worse. I almost feel bad for them, but then again, they brought this on themselves, as well as the millions of us who didn’t vote for Obama.