Alaskans Can’t Keep Their Health Insurance Like Mark Begich Promised
In August 2009, Begich told the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce that no matter what you see in the media, “the reality is that if you got an insurance plan now, you like it, you keep it:”
BEGICH: “Simply, no matter what you read, what you see on TV in these ads, how people hype it up on talk radio, the reality is that if you got an insurance plan now, you like it, you keep it. That’s yours. You can do whatever you want. You want to change, there will be options. But what you have, you can keep. If you have a doctor you like, keep your doctor.”
The largest health insurer in Alaska has sent cancellation notices to more than half its individual members in the state because their existing policies do not meet requirements of the new federal health care law.
Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield spokeswoman Melanie Coon said Friday that of its more than 9,000 individual members in Alaska, fewer than 3,800 were on “grandfathered” plans. Those are plans that were in existence before March 23, 2010, and have changed very little.
Coon said discontinuation notices have gone to about 5,360 other members, who have been told they will be matched to new plans that are closest to what they had before in an effort to keep anyone from losing coverage.