Government Estimated Millions Of Workers Would Be Dropped From Employee Insurance

By: CBS - (posted by Greg Palmer)
By: CBS - (posted by Greg Palmer)

CBS News - Washington The Obama administration is promising the federal health care website, HealthCare.gov, will run smoothly by the end of this weekend. However, with that self-imposed deadline approaching, CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson learned some of those who get their insurance through work are losing their coverage.

Attkisson said on “CBS This Morning” that she learned that the government had earlier estimated that millions of workers would be dropped from their employee insurance under the Affordable Care Act, and for some it's already happening.

New Hampshire small business owner Nancy Clark was featured last year in a White House video blog, but things haven't gone quite according to plan for her plan. Last month, her insurer said it was hiking rates 39 percent starting next year. That's a $30,000 increase in costs to her.

So Clark decided to terminate the insurance she's offered her eight employees and turn to Obamacare, but there's been one problem after another.

“We’re experiencing technical difficulties. That's the nature of the beast,” said Clark.

Virginia Beach business owner Betsy Atkinson is also cancelling company insurance because her plan doesn't meet new Obamacare requirements and she can't afford to offer employees one that does.

“They’re going to have to go find their own insurance,” she said. “I’m sorry.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney has given repeated assurances that nothing will change for those insured through work, but in 2010, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimated Obamacare would "collectively reduce the number of people with employer-sponsored health coverage by about 14 million."

The reason is some big companies will opt to save by paying the relatively small penalty for dropping employee insurance. Small businesses don't have to supply insurance and may find new policies too costly.

For her part, Clark plans to help employees pay for their outside insurance and remains an avid Obamacare supporter.

“I’m confident that HealthCare.gov will be fixed,” she said.

Clark told Attkisson that about half her employees who are having their work insurance cut have enrolled on HealthCare.gov.

The administration told Attkisson that the Affordable Care Act has slowed health care costs and premiums, saying "the law is making it easier for businesses to offer coverage, just like it did in Massachusetts, when employer coverage increased after reform passed."


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