Once again, the promise that Americans can keep the health coverage they like under Obamacare has been broken. National Health Insurance, Aetna, John Alden, and Principle have reported that they “need to make adjustments in their business to accommodate the nation’s new federal health care law.”
The National Health Insurance Co. (NHIC), a Dallas-based insurer, recently announced that it would no longer offer insurance plans in the individual and small group markets in New Mexico. According to NHIC President Charles Harris, “After careful consideration…National Health Insurance Company has determined it will not be able to meet the requirements set forth by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”
NHIC is not the only insurer that is leaving the state’s individual and small groups market, which reduces competition and leaves New Mexico residents with fewer options for obtaining coverage. Aetna, John Alden and Principal also said they are pulling out of the market. In a letter from Assurant Health, spokeswoman Julia Hix wrote, “Time Insurance [Co.] and John Alden Life Insurance [Co.] will no longer offer new business sales in the New Mexico individual medical expense market.”
Principal Insurance Co. has yet to announce the insurance plans it will keep or drop. The insurer plans to give 180 days notice of its “intent to discontinue and non-renew coverage.” Principal Insurance has indicated plans to coordinate with UnitedHealth in transferring 3,600 customers who will lose coverage.
Many New Mexican residents who had coverage and liked their health plan will now have to switch plans, in direct violation of one of President Barack Obama’s repeated promises during the health care reform debate. While the total tally of those who will end up losing coverage is unknown, it will likely worsen as Obamacare is further implemented.
This post was co-authored by Derek Pyburn.