The more than 73,000 Marylanders who were told their insurance policies were being cancelled can rest a little easier, according to Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.
In a moment reminiscent of Obi-Wan Kenobi using a Jedi mind trick on Imperial Stormtroopers on the prowl for a couple of droids, Brown told WBAL’s Lisa Robinson Sunday that what was once called a cancellation is, in fact, a renewal notice.
“It’s not really a cancellation,” Brown said during the station’s Sunday Morning Q & A segment. “There are, we’ve been hearing a lot about 73,000 and that’s a number I just heard recently when the Maryland Insurance Administration announced that number but these are Marylanders who are getting notices, mostly from CareFirst, that you can renew your policy today and into 2014 but in 2014 you won’t be able to renew your current plan because it’s a substandard plan and doesn’t have the protections I was talking about.”
Brown, who has been in charge of the state’s efforts to create a health care benefits exchange aligned with the national Affordable Care Act, went on to tell Robinson the letters are “not a termination or a cancellation. We’re really talking about renewal notices.”
“Most consumers should receive 90 days’ notice” if their plan is being canceled, said administration spokeswoman Vivian Laxton.
According to Gulin’s report, nine insurance companies are cancelling policies, led by CareFirst of Maryland Inc., which will be discontinuing the plans of 25,888 members. CareFirst BlueChoice (CareFirst’s HMO plan) will send 17,235 cancellation notices, while Group Hospitalization and Medical Services Inc. (also owned by CareFirst) will send 12,435.
Aetna Life Insurance Co. will cancel about 7,000 policies, while Coventry Health and Life Insurance Co. will cancel 5,615. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States Inc. will cancel 2,902 individual-market plans as well as its temporary, subsidized coverage option, called The Bridge Plan, which had 2,117 people enrolled.