Patterico's Pontifications


Seniors Kicked Out of Their Health Insurance Plans Thanks to ObamaCare

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:42 pm

But, but, they told us nobody would lose their health insurance plan because of ObamaCare.

I guess that wasn’t entirely true:

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care has notified customers that it will drop its Medicare Advantage health insurance program at the end of the year, forcing 22,000 senior citizens in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine to seek alternative supplemental coverage.

The decision by Wellesley-based Harvard Pilgrim, the state’s second-largest health insurer, was prompted by a freeze in federal reimbursements and a new requirement that insurers offering the kind of product sold by Harvard Pilgrim — a Medicare Advantage private fee for service plan — form a contracted network of doctors who agree to participate for a negotiated amount of money. Under current rules, patients can seek care from any doctor.

“We became concerned by the long-term viability of Medicare Advantage programs in general,’’ said Lynn Bowman, vice president of customer service at Harvard Pilgrim’s office in Quincy. “We know that cuts in Medicare are being used to fund national health care reform. And we also had concerns about our ability to build a network of health care providers that would meet the needs of our seniors.’’

The new substitute plan will be “slightly more expensive’’ than the existing plan.  Also, it “won’t pay for prescription drugs, which are covered by some versions of the current plan.”

No problem, right, seniors?

Will this company be locked out of the system for daring to act according to its business interests?

Thanks to A. W. and another reader.

37 Responses to “Seniors Kicked Out of Their Health Insurance Plans Thanks to ObamaCare”

  1. I believe this article is in error; this is not due to Obama’s health care plan, but to Republican interference.

    After all, the Republican healthcare plan is “Don’t Get Sick! And if You Do Get Sick, Die Quickly!”


    DJMoore (dfc510)

  2. Ah, DJMoore, you found the video that shows Grayson to be the kind of despicable liar that his attacks ads on his opponent also show him to be.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  3. That moore thingie is odd.

    JD (5e2cbe)

  4. Patterico

    I did direct you to the creepy comments by sebelius, if that is what you mean, but not to the harvard thing. i read of it, but i don’t recall passing it on to you. Though obviously i should have. :-) i just don’t want to take credit where it is not due.


    i read dj as saying all of that ironically. fwiw.

    And grayson is a major @$$.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  5. btw, isn’t the democratic plan “don’t get sick.” And believe you me, if obamacare is upheld, the next shoe to drop is they will start telling you what you can eat and drink, all in the name of saving money.

    As for “die quickly” isn’t that what we already have with hospice? under medicare regulations, you cannot get palliative hospice care if you are still fighting your disease. hospice is where you go to die without much of a fight.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  6. Well, you know . . . seniors tend to vote conservative, so it’s best to move them along to make way for the newly-indoctrinated 20-something lib voters.

    Icy Texan (1cdac1)

  7. As for “die quickly” isn’t that what we already have with hospice?

    I don’t know if you know the story but, in the early days of hospice, which I completely support so long as it is voluntary, Medicare was denying payment to hospices if the patient lived more than 6 months. They hadn’t realized that the care they get at good hospice programs will prolong even the life of a terminal patient. They eventually changed the regulation.

    Mike K (568408)

  8. Different A.W.

    Patterico (fcb446)

  9. I was being a teensy bit ironic, yes.

    I almost regret posting that. It was just too easy.

    DJMoore (dfc510)

  10. patterico

    ah, i understand now.


    > in the early days of hospice … Medicare was denying payment to hospices if the patient lived more than 6 months.

    You know if only we could have a similar policy with that lockerbie bomber they released into libya.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  11. Bye bye Patrick Deval.

    But don’t worry, I am sure NBC and MSNBC will offer you a job to sing the praises of Socialism — if only those stupid Americans would understand.

    Heavensent (4f78d0)

  12. According to the second link, patients may have the option of buying a separate prescription drug plan. Will those who currently have high prescription drug costs be approved and, if so, at what additional cost? It seems like an especially tough time for anyone, but especially retired seniors, to face premium increases and/or the loss of their prescription drug benefits.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  13. #5–I think the Democrats’ health plan is–Don’t get old. And if you do get old, take a pill, according to Obama. Otherwise, you’re just in the way.

    Rochf (ae9c58)

  14. Of all the things that folks might find wrong with this plan the fact that it doesn’t spend enough taxpayer money on seniors wasn’t what the one I expected to read about here.

    imdw (0275b8)

  15. That is not at all what people are objecting to, dimwit, and you know it.

    JD (eb1dfe)

  16. What’s interesting is if Obamacare deems Obama himself unworthy of coverage in the future, due to his pack – a – day+ habit. Of course he’ll have no problems, but you have to marvel at the hypocricy on display.

    Dmac (84da91)

  17. But, but, they told us nobody would lose their health insurance plan because of ObamaCare

    This is the point. The position of Barcky and the Dems was false false false, and intentionally so, because what is happening now was entirely predictable in the market.

    JD (eb1dfe)

  18. Wasn’t it always the Dems plan to strangle Medicare Advantage in the cradle? After all, it was an idea that originated with the GOP Congress during the Clinton years, then was codified by the Bush Administration with their prescription drug plan. Besides the partisan reasons, you can see why Obama and Congressional Dems hated it — it gave consumers various options at different price levels, left it to consumers and providers to control costs, and allowed private insurers to participate in the Medicare program. Why in the world would we be surprised that Obama and Aunt Nancy despised it all along?

    JVW (eccfd6)

  19. I KNOW, let’s tie the last post (about the lack of executions due to insufficient quantities of the chemicals used to put the killer to sleep [something NOT afforded their victims.] to this post:


    Then DENY THEM COVERAGE!!!!111!!11

    They’ll die a slow, tortuous death, just like our Seniors!

    For the ones who committed mass murders, make them fill out their own paper work.

    Plus it’ll be protest proof as WE’RE NOT ACTUALLY KILLING THEM!!!11!!1

    Can things get anymore upside down and inside out?

    jakee308 (e1996a)

  20. If you like your coverage, you can keep it. Nothing will change. Except your coverage. And premiums. And availability.

    JD (a30317)

  21. JD, to be fair, Obama did promise a lot of “change.” I don’t know how “hope” works into his health care plans, other than the aforementioned “better hope you don’t get sick.”

    Hope and change indeed.

    JVW (eccfd6)

  22. ==If you like your coverage, you can keep it. Nothing will change. Except your coverage. And premiums. And availability.==

    That’s close to perfection as TV campaign ads go, JD.

    elissa (f9a494)

  23. Medicare Advantage private fee for service plans were already on thin ice, thanks to the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008. ObamaCare was just the final straw.

    Karl (cbb1a2)

  24. Elissa – that would be too much to expect from Team R.

    JD (fc59fb)

  25. We got our hope and change in the mail this week.

    The CHANGE is that our old plan is no longer offered (so much for nobody losing their coverage). The HOPE is that we can afford the new premiums which are 127% higher than the old plan.

    For those of you not sure if we are communicating clearly, the new premiums are 127% HIGHER: $1278 for coverage beginning January 1 compared to a current premium of $563.

    Hope and change. It’s here.

    Steve (81dc80)

  26. wait until AB2244 gets signed into law here in the PRC…..

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  27. Yikes, Steve. That’s appalling … and I blame Obama and ObamaCare, too.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  28. The Democrats have shown a complete inability to run the government over the last two years.

    They can’t write a health-care insurance reform bill despite claiming this as their signature issue. The bill is a hodge-podge of incompetence. Unintended consequences? Have we seen any “intended” consequences? Just like the faux “financial regulation” reform legislation that avoided confronting the core of what caused our credit-crisis recession and had the “unintended” consequence of bringing secured bond markets to a halt briefly, until the SEC said “never mind” to key parts of the legislation.

    There is still no budget bill even though the fiscal year is hours from ending. Nothing.

    And no one in the nation knows what their tax rate will be next year… just 90 days from the beginning of the next calendar year.

    Complete and utter incompetence.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  29. If there were any justice in this world, your headline would have said:

    Senators Kicked Out of Their Health Insurance Plans Thanks to ObamaCare

    Anon Y. Mous (5ac901)

  30. Is there any part of his Domestic and Foreign policies that Teh Won hasn’t lied about?

    AD-RtR/OS! (57c107)

  31. this is just more of the sad legacy of Bush’s tax cuts for the rich

    happyfeet (19c1da)

  32. So they can’t offer it any more because it’s based on HMO capitation rather than fee for service?

    This is all so confusing…REPEAL Obamacare.

    Patricia (9b018a)

  33. This is all so confusing…REPEAL Obamacare.

    AD-RtR/OS! (57c107)

  34. We have had Tricare because of military service and have not had to learn much about the changes Obamacare has wrought until recently. Wife has blue cross/blue shield as part of her employment. Our 24 year old, in good health, just entered grad school and the school offered a health plan for 100 per month. Tricare doesn’t offer the extended coverage for kids until 26 (separate bill was passed to keep it from being classified as a cadillac plan which effectively shielded vets on Tricare from Obamacare). Anyway the wife checked with BS/BC and they said they would add her but it would be 250 dollars a month.
    Bending the cost curve down is sounding more like bend over and cough while I grab these for you….

    VOR2 (c9795e)


    McDonald’s employees may lose insurance too.

    CardioNP (d18b93)

  36. CardioNP – The system worked!

    daleyrocks (940075)

  37. Can’t wait till I have to send out 52,534 1099-Misc forms to my contractors!

    That will really help them identify those evil, horrid, small business tax cheats.

    Hope and change!

    Heavensent (4f78d0)

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