Health insurer ending plan

I buy my own health insurance, because I am self-employed and single.  I have read in the papers that my health insurer is going to stop offering the plan I have.  I’ll have to choose a new plan, I guess.  Does this mean that they can ask me all those health questions all over again?  Will they change my rate?  I’m in pretty good health, but I did just start on high blood pressure pills last year.


Dear Confused,

No, they cannot ask you any health questions any more before they sell you a health plan.  Health reform removed these hurdles for people buying health insurance.  So, no worries on your blood pressure treatment.

Lots of insurers are discontinuing plans and offering new ones for January 1, 2014.  The old plans did not meet the new requirements of health reform, and it made more sense to start new.  Some insurers are allowing current customers to renew their plans, but aren’t selling them to new customers.  You should get a letter from the health plan explaining your options.

As with every renewal, rates will change.  Insurers now have fewer ways to adjust your rates.  That is, they cannot adjust it based upon your health status.  They can only tweak it for your age and where you live.  Your rates will change, going into a new plan, based upon the plan’s covered services, deductibles, co-pays, etc.

With so much changing, you will want to carefully consider your options.  The new plans may cover more than your old one, have lower deductibles, and co-pays.  You may also qualify for help in paying for your plan or paying for your deductible.  Get all of the information you can before you make a decision.

Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.