KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Two Calif. Residents File Suit Against Anthem Blue Cross Over Cancellations

In California and nationwide, millions of people have received insurance cancellation notices of their individual health plans, triggering new criticism of the health law. Kaiser Health News reports that Blue Shield will delay cancellations for some policy holders. Meanwhile, The Fiscal Times attempt to explain why insurance companies are cancelling plans.

Los Angeles Times: Anthem Blue Cross Is Sued Over Policy Cancellations
In a new line of attack on canceled health policies, two California residents are suing insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross, alleging they were misled into giving up their previous coverage. About 900,000 Californians and many more nationwide have received cancellation notices on their individual health insurance policies, triggering a public uproar against the rollout of President Obama's health care law (Terhune, 11/4).

Kaiser Health News: Blue Shield of California Delays Cancellations for Some Individual Policyholders
One of California's largest insurers said Monday that about 80,000 individual policy holders whose plans were set to expire Dec. 31 can keep them for three more months as part of an agreement with state insurance officials (Gorman, 11/5).  

The Fiscal Times: Why Insurers Are Cancelling Millions Under Obamacare
The plans under Obamacare's chopping block must have been purchased on or before 2010 on the individual market instead of through an employer or group. If no changes were made by the insurer or the consumer to the plan, the consumer would theoretically be "grandfathered in" and be able to keep her plan. Obama refers to these as "cut-rate plans" offered by "bad-apple insurers." Since changes are made to most plans every year; however, the "grandfather" clause really doesn't apply (Ehley, 11/4).

In the background, how the public confusion and reaction surrounding this development came to be -

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Obama's Promises On Health Care Return To Haunt As Simple Sales Pitch Meets Complex Reality
It sounded so simple. Too simple, it turns out. President Barack Obama's early efforts to boil down an intricate health care law so Americans could understand it are coming back to haunt him, leaving a trail of caveats and provisos in place of the pithy claims he once used to sell the law (11/5).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.