Melanie Eversley, USA TODAY
Millions of Americans are getting their health insurance canceled under the Affordable Care Act and the Obama administration has known for about three years that this would happen, NBC News is reporting.
About 50% to 75% of 14 million consumers who buy health insurance individually will receive a "cancellation" letter or its equivalent in the next year because their current policies don't meet the standards laid out by the new law, the news organization reports, citing four sources deeply involved in ACA.
Of those who will be forced to buy new insurance, many will face huge price increases, NBC reports.
Initially, the administration stipulated that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010, could be "grandfathered" or kept even if they don't meet the requirements of the new law. Later, the Department of Health and Human Services wrote regulations that narrowed that provision to dictate that if any part of those policies, such as co-pay or benefits, had substantially changed since then, they would not longer be grandfathered in.
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NBC alleges the administration knew that up to 67% of customers on the individual market could have their policies canceled, but instead, President Obama said as recently as in 2012, "If (you) already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance."
The White House told NBC that people whose policies will be canceled will, in most cases, be automatically shifted to plans with better protections.
"Nothing in the Affordable Care Act forces people out of their health plans," White House spokeswoman Jessica Santillo told the news organization.
White House spokesman Jay Carney acknowledged that some plans would not meet the new minimum standards and would "not qualify for the Affordable Care Act."