The Obamacare Chronicles: 100,000 in New Jersey to lose the insurance they like

**Posted by Phineas

"Quack medicine"
“Quack medicine”

What was it someone once said? Oh, yeah…

Tell that to over 100,000 New Jerseyans:

The bare-bones health insurance policy that’s been the plan of choice for New Jerseyans who can’t afford something better is set to go away next year, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

And what those policy holders will be left with may be a choice among pricey, pricier and priciest.

About 106,000 people in the Garden State are insured under what are known as “basic and essential,” or B&E, health care plans, according to state data. Since 2003, all health insurers that operate in New Jersey’s individual health market have been required to sell these plans which, as their name implies, offer only a thin layer of coverage for things such as doctor’s office visits and procedures that don’t involve a hospital stay.

But while B&E plans were meant to help young families get coverage and stanch the drop of enrollment in the individual health market, their relatively low price — as little as a couple hundred dollars a month for some people — made them the most popular option for those who don’t get insurance through an employer or a government program such as Medicare or Medicaid. About 71 percent of those covered by the individual health market have a B&E plan.

Soon no longer.

Obamacare requires all policies to cover certain conditions, whether the purchaser needs that coverage or not. It also caps out-of-pocket expenses, which means costs go up for the insurance companies. They have to charge more to meet these requirements, and so the “bare bones” plans no longer are viable, even though they met the needs of over 100,000 Garden Staters.

Message to New Jerseyans losing their coverage: This is exactly what many of you in this Bluest of Blue states voted for. Elections have consequences. Next time, think before you vote.

Message to Republicans: These and other economic problems caused by Obamacare for the poor and the middle class are a gift from the Democrats. They are a giant, nail-studded club with which you can beat them mercilessly from now through November, 2016. Do it! If you wield this populist, anti-Washington weapon for all it’s worth, I guarantee you a happy election night.

via Brian Faughnan

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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