No grandfather clause in White House proposal

The president’s health care proposal decrees:

If You Like the Insurance You Have, Keep It:
Nothing in the proposal forces anyone to change the insurance they have. Period.

Awesome! That’s how you deal with policy consequences, simply decree they won’t happen. They should have thought of this years ago.

Sarcasm aside, it’s a lie. The plan also says:

The Senate bill includes a “grandfather” policy that allows people who like their current coverage, to keep it. The President’s Proposal adds certain important consumer protections to these “grandfathered” plans. Within months of legislation being enacted, it requires plans to cover adult dependents up to age 26, prohibits rescissions, mandates that plans have a stronger appeals process, and requires State insurance authorities to conduct annual rate review, backed up by the oversight of the HHS Secretary. When the exchanges begin in 2014, the President’s Proposal adds new protections that prohibit all annual and lifetime limits, ban pre-existing condition exclusions, and prohibit discrimination in favor of highly compensated individuals. Beginning in 2018, the President’s Proposal requires “grandfathered” plans to cover proven preventive services with no cost sharing.

So you can’t keep your current plan. “Grandfathered” plans are still subject to a variety of new requirements all of which will increase their cost, and some of which (e.g., requiring coverage of pre-existing conditions) will increase their cost dramatically. So you can keep your plan, if you can still afford it. Unless you get your insurance from your employer; then you can keep your plan if your employer can still afford it. Except, don’t forget about the new price controls. When the government disallows your plan’s price hike, your plan goes away completely, whether you could have afforded it or not.

(Via the Wall Street Journal.)

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