The second wave of Obamacare insurance cancellations is about to break. Vox reports on the impending demise of so-called fixed-benefit insurance, which pays out a fixed sum to patients regardless of how much the procedures cost or where they get them. The Obama Administration now wants to get rid of them—even if you like them. More:
It’s worth being clear that even now a fixed-benefit plan doesn’t satisfy the individual mandate. The new rule would mainly affect people who had chosen to pay the individual mandate, or who were exempt from the mandate, and who bought a fixed-benefit plan as a stopgap. The Obama administration is saying that they can’t do that unless they also buy a more comprehensive plan. […]The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed in late March barring the purchase of fixed-benefit health plans as stand-alone coverage. Instead, the Obama administration plans to require fixed-benefit plan enrollees to show proof that they have a full medical plan—and are only using the indemnity product as a supplement.
We don’t yet know exactly how many people will be affected by these cancellations. It may be too few to cause another PR disaster on the scale of the one that followed the previous round of cancellations.But either way, this should serve as a reminder that Obamacare is still far from fully implemented. A lot of things must fall into place before we get a good sense of the total impact of the law. It’s too early to declare the ACA either a success or a failure: Count no man happy until he’s dead; call no law good until it’s in full force.