Louisianans face cancellations

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80,000 Louisianians' health insurance policies will be canceled under the Affordable Care Act

About 80,000 Louisiana residents will see their health insurance policies canceled because they don’t meet new federal standards, the state’s insurance commissioner said.

Jim Donelon said the Department of Insurance collected the information from health insurance providers last week in response to numerous requests for an estimate.

The figure could account for close to half of the 165,000 people in Louisiana who hold individual health insurance plans that they pay for without the help of an employer or the government.

“These people were obviously satisfied with their insurance,” Donelon said, “and I hope that they don’t drop out of the market.”

The issue drew national attention last week after NBC News credited four sources with saying that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually would receive policy cancellation notices.

Pundits cited the news as an indication that Obama was untruthful when he repeatedly stated that “if you like your insurance you can keep it.”

Obama countered that the policies that are being discontinued are substandard.

Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans offered must include 10 essential health benefits: outpatient care, rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices, emergency room visits, hospitalization, lab tests, maternity and newborn care, preventative services and chronic disease care, prescription drugs, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and pediatric services including vision and dental coverage.

Donelon said Louisiana’s insurers indicated they would be offering new plans, but he said the costs will increase and fewer people will participate.