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Insurance plans cut patients


It's a letter you hope not to receive in the mail. Your insurance company telling you your plan is changing.

Take a look at this heartbreaking letter in the Wall Street Journal this weekend. A California cancer patient wrote in, that her current health plan has been canceled and she can't find any insurance company - inside the new health exchanges or outside- that will let her keep her world class doctors at a price she can afford.

Edie Sundby is just one of millions of Americans who have received or will soon receive a letter saying their current plan at its current price will be canceled at the end of the year.

Beyond the bugs and the error messages, millions of Americans have been notified by mail that their private health plans are changing. In letters that look like this,they're told they'll have to change their policy which will in turn change their out of pocket price.

One of them Bob Laszewski is President of Health Policy and Strategy Associates.

"My premium for my plan went up by 66 percent. I did not have a bare bones plan I got the best health insurance plan you could buy."

Ed Haislmaier focuses on health policy for the Heritage Foundation.

"The insurance companies are dropping these people because the law requires so many changes to their existing coverage that at some point you say this is really new coverage here."

The letters may have come in black and white but this issue is much more complicated.  There is sticker shock to many in the market for health care coverage, but what the insurance providers aren't saying is that under the healthcare exchanges those plans may be much cheaper.

"I think it's an attempt to exploit the fact that there is a lot of confusion and misinformation out there."

Mike Russo is with the U.S. public interest research group and says what's unfolding is insurance companies not used to so much competition trying to hang onto customers and get them to pay more.

"This is not necessarily the impact of the change in the law.  It's insurance companies doing what they can to maximize their profit."

If you have gotten a letter and need to weigh your options, it may mean spending time on the website healthcare.gov. Some  insurance companies have now been fined for sending misleading information to their customers.