Obamacare concern: Health care users start to get kicked off insurance plans

October 24, 2013

The health care law’s honeymoon period is over.

For several years, Obamacare provided new benefits: Children could stay on their parents’ plans longer, insurance companies couldn’t impose lifetime benefit caps, and seniors got extra help in buying prescription drugs. But during the past two months, some consumers have been kicked off plans, and they and others are having to navigate the complexities of health care exchanges.

House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said Wednesday that more people have been kicked out of their health care plans thanks to recently activated provisions than have been able to sign up in the exchanges — an equation he said underscored the problems with the law.

“When you begin to look at these hundreds of thousands of people, I think what you’re going to see at the end of October are more Americans are going to lose their health insurance than are going to sign up at these exchanges,” Mr. Boehner told reporters.

Consumers have reported tremendous difficulties in signing up through the federal online portal, HealthCare.gov. That has led Republicans and even some Democrats to urge President Obama to extend the enrollment period and/or delay imposing tax penalties on those who fail to sign up — thus violating the law’s “individual mandate” requiring most Americans to get insurance.

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