Insurers send cancellation notices to small businesses

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Just as insurers are sending cancellation letters to members whose individual plans don't meet healthcare reform's essential health benefits, they're also sending cancellation notices to small businesses.

The owners of Dunn Orthodontics in Phoenix, for example, choose to offer health insurance to their full-time employees and wanted to hang onto their coverage while they watched how the Affordable Care Act played out before jumping into the new market, reported Marketplace.

But Humana sent them a cancellation notice explaining the medical practice can't keep its existing plan next year because it does not adhere to ACA requirements, the article noted. The letter also included information on an alternative, ACA-compliant Humana plan, which has a 60 percent premium increase.

Similarly, Independence Blue Cross has been sending cancellation notices throughout the greater Philadelphia region informing small business owners that their existing plans don't meet reform requirements, Philly.com reported.

For instance, IBC sent notice to Alan Fellheimer's boutique lawfirm and Stan Kofsky's medical practice that their coverage would be canceled. The insurer told Fellheimer it didn't have immediate replacement plans available and that new plans will cost significantly more.

Meanwhile, IBC told Philly.com it has made replacement "Blue Solutions" plans available and is notifying members about those coverage options. "We do have products--37 options--and have laid out pricing [and other details] for customers with renewal dates of Jan. 1, 2014," said IBC spokeswoman Judiemarie Thomas.

Amid these cancellation notices, lawmakers and state officials are pressuring insurers to allow members to retain their policies.

For more:
- read the Marketplace article
- here's the Philly.com article

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