Can you keep your insurance plan if you like it? Some people discovered last fall that they couldn’t under Obamacare, despite the President’s promise that they could. But losing coverage is hardly new. It started long before Obamacare. In fact, it has been the norm for years for policies purchased in the individual market. (These are policies you buy directly from an insurance company with no employer involved.)
A study just published in the journal Health Affairs showed how chaotic the market for individual policies was in the years before Obamacare. Few people stayed with their coverage for very long. During the period between 2008 and 2011, only 42% still had the same coverage 12 months after they purchased it. Among young adults between the ages of 19 and 35, only 21% kept continuous coverage for two years.
What does this say about the cancellations under Obamacare? The author concludes, “recent plan cancellations may not have an impact that is markedly different from the normal turnover in this market.”
This is not to deny that some people have had to settle for new policies under Obamacare when they would have preferred to stay with their old ones. However, coverage disruptions like that did not start with Obamacare. The market for individual policies has always been unstable.