EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

May 11, 2014

Anthem makes decision on health plan renewals

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“I’m a healthy, active guy, and I’m just being hammered by this,” he said. “It’s really a kick in the teeth.”

Policies like Bauman’s generally provide less financial protection and narrower benefits than the coverage required under the law, but the skimpier insurance was acceptable to many consumers because it usually cost less. About half the states allowed insurance companies to extend canceled policies for a year under the original White House reprieve, but the fate of the latest extension is unsettled.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, at least 27 states are allowing renewals, while six states and Washington, D.C., have decided against allowing them. It did not know the status of the others or whether all had made decisions.

Some of those with noncompliant policies in New Hampshire are still deciding what to do. Kysa Crusco, a divorce attorney in Bedford, pays $1,000 a month for a policy that expires Aug. 1. She said she got a letter from Anthem last week saying her plan is being discontinued and she could look into a marketplace plan or switch to a $1,140 off-market plan with a higher deductible and other provisions she dislikes.

“I’m really angry that we were told the ACA is going to be good for people who don’t have insurance — and I get that because in some of my divorce cases that is true — and if you like your insurance, you can keep it. Not true,” she said. “The ACA, from my perspective, has offered at least some reasonable coverage for some people, but for myself, I don’t know that there’s going to be a good option.”

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