When insurance firms launched social media initiatives, the results were rewarding.
TUCSON, Ariz., Jan. 20 -- The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons issued the following news release:
The public relations campaign that is being waged by both advocates and opponents of the Affordable Care Act (ACA or "ObamaCare") is largely a war of opposing anecdotes, states the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).
Advocates assert that canceled plans are "substandard," and that while some will pay more, large numbers of Americans will be newly eligible for Medicaid or subsidized plans, AAPS notes.
An online survey by AAPS (http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/ctr?d=10064724&l=3&a=An%20online%20survey%20by%20AAPS&u=https%3A%2F%2Faaps.wufoo.com%2Freports%2Fr174a83t10ndssl%2F) garnered some 1,400 responses. So far, 219 have had their existing insurance plan canceled. Only 121 reported trying to sign up for ObamaCare, and only 27 were successful. Of these, only 13 were sure that payment to the insurer had been made, and only eight had received a welcome packet.
More than 140 respondents submitted comments about the cancellation of their insurance plan (http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/ctr?d=10064724&l=4&a=comments%20about%20the%20cancellation%20of%20their%20insurance%20plan&u=https%3A%2F%2Faaps.wufoo.com%2Freports%2Fr1bnhpaa1gghvha%2F), and these were overwhelmingly negative. Complaints included short notice, much higher premiums and out-of-pocket cost, limited access to physicians, and requirement for coverage such as pediatric eyewear that would never be used.
For example: "My high-deductible health plan was canceled, and now I face paying two to three times the premium I was paying before for coverage I don't need and don't want. The deductible for out-of-network physicians was also doubled to $10,000! ...I assume most of the risk, and the insurer collects two to three times what they were collecting before on a policy Obama told us I could keep if I liked it."
One commenter, who earns "just a little too much to qualify for the subsidy," wrote that "quotes I have received are 75% to 100% in excess of what I am currently paying for similar coverage."
Nearly 600 people volunteered other comments (http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/ctr?d=10064724&l=7&a=600%20people%20volunteered%20other%20comments&u=https%3A%2F%2Faaps.wufoo.com%2Freports%2Frtgiyir0gcfgg2%2F), also overwhelmingly negative. Some complained of the exactly the problems the ACA was claimed to solve: "If I get sick [under my ACA-compliant plan], I am bankrupt." Some claim they will no longer be able to get the treatment they need, and "the illness will run its course."
"While some Americans will pay less because of taxpayer-funded subsidies, many will pay much more for coverage that they think is inferior to what they had before," stated AAPS executive director Jane M. Orient, M.D. "And there is the fear that people can no longer rely on the availability of good treatment."
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