Md. Health Insurance Carriers To Drop 73K Members

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — New numbers show 73,000 Marylanders will be dropped from their health insurance policies. Notices have started going out to those people because their plans don’t meet the minimum standards of the Affordable Care Act.

Meghan McCorkell has more on how those affected are coping.

Officials say those plans will be replaced by stronger coverage, but some receiving the notices say they’ve been taken by surprise.

For two years, Brenda Nelson paid for an individual insurance plan to cover her in case of emergencies.

“Medical costs are crazy. You never know what can happen,” she said.

Recently she received a letter saying her plan is no longer available.

“It’s very frustrating, but it’s more scary because I’m thinking I’m not covered. So if something should happen, I don’t know what I’d do,” she said.

She’s not alone.

Nine insurance carriers in Maryland have announced they’ll drop 73,000 members.

“In many cases the inability of an individual to not keep their coverage is because their insurance company has decided to phase out their plan,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

The Maryland Insurance Administration says “Those plans are being replaced with stronger coverage that provides more consumer protection, such as guaranteed coverage, mental health parity and prescription drug coverage.”

But when Nelson logged on to enroll…

“Soon as you sign on, it’s `Let’s get started’ then it’s wait, wait, wait,” she said.

Officials with Maryland Health Connection say they’ve dedicated more resources to fixing the website issues.

Nelson discontinued her old policy after pricing a new one.

“I found the quotes, printed them out, talked them over with my husband,” she said. “It was stuck on the thinking screen forever.”

Now she’s uninsured and praying the website works soon.

Nationally, more than 3 million people will lose their insurance plans because the policies don’t meet minimum standards.

Maryland Health Connection says about 4,500 people have been able to enroll on the website.

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