Over the past few months, there have been repeated warnings that potentially hundreds of thousands of Americans could lose their health insurance coverage, and now those cancelations seem to be nigh. However, experts say that the number of affected consumers should actually be pretty low in comparison with the total number of people enrolled nationwide.
What's interesting, though, is that these cancelations are actually going through state governments specifically, and not at the federal level, according to a report from the New York Times. As such, reporting procedures are going to be fairly disparate and nailing down an actual number of people nationwide is likely to be difficult. These people would be losing their plans specifically because they do not meet the minimum standards for coverage laid out by the ACA years ago, and those people will likely be given different options by their insurers. However, those options may be distasteful to some - either coming with fewer of the features they preferred before at the same lower price, or costing too much to keep all those they liked - and could be the cause of much political rancor in the coming weeks.
But the total number of people covered by health insurance nationwide comes to more than 276 million these days, and those who buy their own coverage on the individual markets (20 million or so) makes up less than 8 percent of that number, the report said. Thus, if even all of those people lose their coverage - and they won't, as many experts believe the number is probably going to be in the six figures - the dent won't be that significant in the overall scheme of things.
What other issues might arise?
Meanwhile, those affected by the cancelations will have different options - and probably more than were available to people who went through the same thing last year - available to them, including the ability to buy coverage on the state and federal exchanges, the report said. However, a recent study found that 39 percent of people who were forced to switch about a year ago ended up paying more for coverage, even if those costs were offset by tax credits.
Insurance companies should also try to do more to help with this transition, as it may allow them to simultaneously help suddenly struggling consumers, and also keep their enrollment numbers as high as possible.