Monday, June 4, 2012

Obamacare Taking Away Insurance Coverage — Again

The Wall Street Journal this morning illustrates one more way in which Americans – in this case, young American students – are losing their health insurance coverage thanks to Obamacare:

Some colleges are dropping student health-insurance plans for the coming academic year and others are telling students to expect sharp premium increases because of a provision in the federal health law requiring plans to beef up coverage.  The demise of low-cost, low-benefit health plans for students is a consequence of the 2010 health-care overhaul.  The law is intended to expand coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans, but it is also eliminating some insurance options.

The article highlights the case of one Kansas college, which is cancelling its health insurance plan for students rather than facing a premium increase of over 350%:

Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kan., this past year offered a 12-month plan that cost students $445, while capping payouts at $10,000.  For the 2012-13 academic year, the Obama administration said the payout cap must be at least $100,000. Bethany said students would have had to pay more than $2,000 to get that new level of coverage.  “We decided not to offer coverage for our students next year given the proposed increase in premium,” said Bob Schmoll, Bethany’s vice president for finance.

Also of note: Students, unlike other, more politically-connected groups, have not received exemptions from these new Obamacare requirements, even though they are costing students access to their current health plans:

Some unions and employers can still offer plans to lower-wage hourly workers that have limited benefits similar to those of the student plans, because they were given waivers by the administration allowing them to continue those plans until 2014.  Schools can’t apply for the same waivers for student plans.

Candidate Obama repeatedly promised premiums would go down by $2,500 thanks to his law, and he promised that “you will not have to change plans.  For those who have insurance now, nothing will change under the Obama plan – except that you will pay less.”  Today’s article once again confirms that, for millions of American students, these promises will be broken – and students will lose their health coverage in the process.