JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Letters sent by health insurance company Florida Blue have some people concerned. The insurance company is dropping over 300,000 people from their coverage.
The insurance company told Channel 4 the coverage is being cut because of the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act requires policies sold in the individual market to cover 10 "essential" benefits like maternity care, mental health treatment and prescription drugs.
Channel 4 spoke with Dr. Carolyn McClanahan Tuesday about Florida Blue's announcement. Her first piece of advice is not to panic.
McClanahan recommends that getting in touch with insurance agents to go over options. McClanahan told Channel 4 that it's better to re-enroll in the company's new plan or sign up for a new one online.
While members believe the cancelations will translate into higher premiums, McClanahan said that won't be the case for everyone.
"A lot of these policies were cheap, but they didn't have full coverage, and that's one of the things decided in the law, is that policies had to meet minimum, essential benefits," said McClanahan.
Media relations consultant Mark Wright sent Channel 4 the following statement Wednesday morning explaining the changes:
"The Affordable Care Act mandates that all health insurance coverage packages provide 10 categories of essential health benefits. Because some plans offered by all insurers did not include all of these new services, they will no longer be available. Approximately 300,000 current Florida Blue members are enrolled in plans that will not meet these new benefit requirements.
"Florida Blue is proactively communicating to these members to help them understand how this transition affects them. Prior to their 2014 renewal date, each member will receive a letter that instructs them to contact Florida Blue to review their migration options. These new plans will offer members access to more comprehensive benefits in 2014.
"It is important to note that a person's individual situation will be the key driver of what they will pay for coverage under the ACA. Subsidies will be available in the marketplace to lower the cost of coverage for eligible individuals, and the amount an individual will pay could vary significantly once his or her specific age, area in which they live, smoking status, family size, and income are factored in."
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