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Friday, September 06, 2013

Ind. Gov't. - "Kentucky officials take issue with 'misleading' Humana, Anthem insurance renewal letters"

This story is about Kentucky, but ....

Laura Ungar of the Louisville Courier-Journal reported last evening in a lengthy story that begins:

The letter Ray Brundige received from Humana spelled out two options — keep his health-insurance policy for one more year for a $279 monthly premium or choose a new one that complies with Obamacare and pay a whopping $619 a month.

But the letter also said he had to make a choice by Sept. 20, before the Oct. 1 start of Kentucky’s health benefit exchange, a program designed to let him and other Kentuckians shop for less-expensive insurance that complies with Obamacare, and possibly qualify for government subsidies to help pay for it.

State Department of Insurance officials described Brundige’s letter and 6,500 like it that Humana sent out to Kentucky policy-holders “misleading,” and they say they are “reviewing and investigating” the matter. State officials are also reviewing a letter by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield asking people to “call now” to lock in “today’s affordable rates.”

Both letters target people who buy insurance on their own, and who will soon be able to compare plans on the state insurance exchange. Brundige, 63, of Louisville, said it’s unfair for insurers to rush customers into decisions when they don’t know what plans — and prices — they might be able to find on the exchange.

“They are not giving people the ability to make an informed choice, because the information is not yet out there,” said Brundige. “They’re doing themselves and the community a disservice.”

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-3rd District, said the letters surprised and upset him because they “appeared to pre-empt people’s use of the exchange.”

“I would hope no one would foreclose their option to shop on the exchange,” he said.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 6, 2013 07:58 AM
Posted to Indiana Government