CONWAY (KATV) - Arkansans are among the near three million people and counting who have started to receive cancellation letters of their existing healthcare plans. Now some lawmakers are accusing the president of lying when he said Americans with insurance policies they liked could hold onto them.
Cheryl McGhee is self-employed and owns of all things - an insurance brokerage firm. McGhee was self-insured, but nearly two months ago her health insurance provider QualChoice sent her a letter.
"The letter stated that I had coverage until the end of December 2014," said McGhee.
But after December 2014 QualChoice said her plan would be unavailable, citing the Affordable Care Act. The reason - her plan IQ Choice plan doesn't cover all the new requirements under the ACA.
"I got to pick my deductibles, my co-pay and what I wanted covered and what I did not," said McGhee.
McGhee liked her plan, but now she claims her rights are being violated by being forced to look on the Marketplace for coverage. Her old premium used to cost her $244 per month, but now she claims she's been quoted $304 a month for a comparable plan that includes the new ACA required options.
Michael Stock, president and CEO of QualChoice said one of the reasons McGhee's coverage costs are going up is because of now everyone will have to be covered under health insurance, regardless of conditions. But he said the main reason for McGhee's increase in costs are linked to the same reason her QualChoice policy is being dropped.
"Pediatric dental care has to be in every policy, pediatric vision care has to be in every policy, habilitative services have to be in every policy," said Stock. "Those traditionally aren't in our policies today."
The letter sent from QualChoice doesn't actually cancel her policy; rather it informs her of the changes, extends her coverage out till the end of 2014 and gives her options.
"We never want to tell customers that have been with us for a long time and are happy with our services that they can't be our customer anymore," said Stock. "We're trying to do everything we can to retain them as customers."
McGhee said she will hold onto her QualChoice policy until it runs out, hoping the ACA will either be repealed or changed.