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Obamacare sticker shock hits policy holders in Arklatex - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Obamacare sticker shock hits policy holders in Arklatex

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SHREVEPORT, La -

It's called the Affordable Care Act. But it's not living up to its name for many who are seeing their premiums skyrocket more than double -- near triple -- possibly forcing them to pay hundreds of dollars more per month.

"I'm pretty aggravated with it," says Gina Perew of Bossier City, holding the shocker she got in the mail. It's a renewal notice from Humana for her individual health care plan.

"My current premium is about $240 a month, and after the first of the year it will go to $630 dollars a month," Perew said, pointed to figures she highlighted on the notice.

While she and her husband would pay almost $400 more per month in premiums, it'll be almost $600 dollars more per month for Charles Semon and his family of four coverage, also from Humana.

"Our premium will go from $394 to $977," Semon said, looking at his notice. "A little hard there."

Why are there plans going so high? To comply with Obamacare. Their policies must add coverage to include at least ten minimum requirements -- things like maternity, newborn, pediatric care, and even rehab -- things both families say they don't need, but will have to pay for anyway."

The irony? Charles Semon is an insurance agent. And he's now bracing for lots of clients who are also getting those same notices of much higher premiums. He knew it was coming.

"Once you add coverage to a plan you just can't add more bells and whistles and have a cheaper price or even have the same price," Semon says.

Both Semon and Perew like their current plans. They included coverage for doctor and wellness visits. But by the first of the year they'll have to renew at the higher price, or find new coverage -- possibly through healthcare.gov -- if the site ever starts working.

"All the promises, like, you can keep your doctor, you can keep your insurance, if you like your plan you can keep it -- None of that was true," Perew complains.

She says she's checked out Obamacare plans, but none of them come in under the price she's quoted by her current provider, Humana.

 

What about the move by Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu to grandfather everybody who has a current plan? Louisiana Congressman John Fleming says it sounds good but won't work.

"If we allow people to keep their old policies, there won't be the money to pay for all the new people coming in with a whole list of long diseases plans that they before couldn't get insurance for," the Republican from Minden says.

Even if you have an employer-based plan, you still may not be safe. Deep in its Federal Register, the Obama administration itself says, "66 percent of small employer plans and 45 percent of large employer plans will relinquish grandfather status by the end of this year."

That means they'll become illegal under Obamacare. That leads Fleming to say, "I think we should put a stop to the whole thing, suspend it, repeal it and start over again because it's not sustainable financially."

Fleming says there are talks among nervous Democrats -- especially those up for re-election next year -- to do just that.

We asked on the KTBS 3 Facebook page for folks to tell us if they've been helped by Obamacare. Three women who say they had preexisting conditions say they now have coverage they could not get before. Another woman said her "trash policy" was eliminated, and she now has good coverage.

But there were many more stories of people whose current premiums are skyrocketing.

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