Website Shares Insurance Cancellation Letters Due to Obamacare

National Journal
Andy Meek
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Andy Meek
Nov. 12, 2013, 7:43 a.m.

For Barack Obama, here’s a web­site that works a little too well: My­Can­cel­la­ is post­ing can­cel­la­tion let­ters from people who may have liked their health in­sur­ance but can’t keep it.

In little more than a week, the site has col­lec­ted more than 400 let­ters ““ and at­trac­ted more than 10,000 Twit­ter fol­low­ers.

The con­ser­vat­ive group In­de­pend­ent Wo­men’s Voice is be­hind the pro­ject. Its pres­id­ent and CEO, Heath­er Hig­gins, says it’s an ef­fort to give voice to people on the los­ing end of Obama­care.

“This is just the first wave, and we wanted to give them a face and a place to tell their story,” Hig­gins said.

Throughout the coun­try, a wave of can­cel­la­tion no­tices has been go­ing out as in­surers pre­pare to dump policies that don’t meet the stand­ards of the new health care re­form law. No­tice of ac­tions those in­surers are tak­ing in­clude a vari­ety of next steps for con­sumers, many of whom have been jarred by the dis­rup­tion and have taken to the web to vent their frus­tra­tion.

My­Can­cel­la­ en­cour­ages people vis­it­ing the site to share their can­cel­la­tion let­ter by tak­ing a pic­ture of it or scan­ning it. Some post­ings on the site are pho­tos of people bran­dish­ing can­cel­la­tion let­ters, while some are shots only of the let­ters them­selves, with identi­fy­ing in­form­a­tion blacked out.

“Just re­mem­ber,” the site warns, “no crude ges­tures, no crude lan­guage, no per­son­al in­form­a­tion.”

In some of the pho­tos, the per­son shown has in­cluded a bit of writ­ten com­ment­ary. A photo pos­ted Nov. 10 is of a man hold­ing a note from an in­surer as well as an­oth­er piece of pa­per on which he’s writ­ten: “This Stinks. $230/month more for me.”

One let­ter sent in from a BlueCross Blue­Shield of Kan­sas cus­tom­er, also pos­ted Nov. 10, ex­plains that the policy change is hap­pen­ing “be­cause your cur­rent plan does not meet the be­ne­fit stand­ards in the new health care re­form law and will be dis­con­tin­ued after Decem­ber 31.”

The can­cel­la­tions ex­tend to the pub­lic sec­tor. A Nov. 11 post­ing shows what ap­pears to be a can­cel­la­tion let­ter sent to a U.S. Sen­ate staffer earli­er this month.

Obama has apo­lo­gized that people are los­ing their policies after he said they wouldn’t, but he con­tends that the can­cel­la­tions are a step to­ward get­ting bet­ter health cov­er­age to more people.

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