Health Plan Cancellations Will be Relatively Small

Margot-Sanger Katz: “It appears that as many as several hundred thousand people will find their plans canceled this year. That sounds like a lot of people, but to put it in context: The total number of Americans with health insurance is more than 276 million, according to a recent government survey. The individual insurance market contains about 20 million people, according to estimates from the Kaiser Family Foundation that will be published later this month.”

“The plan cancellations are part of the design of the health law. The Affordable Care Act set out to reshape the individual insurance market to make plans more comprehensive and fair, with prices less variable by customers’ ages and health status. Switching to the new regulatory system meant that some existing products would have to go. That process clearly puts some purchasers of the old policies at a disadvantage, particularly young, healthy and high-income people, who are most likely to face premium increases in the marketplaces.”

“But historical evidence suggests that the number of people at risk of losing their coverage because of the changes will dwindle substantially over time.”

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