More than 2,000 more Coloradans had their health insurance plans cancelled as a result of the Affordable Care Act, according to a letter from the state regulatory agency to state Senate Republicans.
Following a dust-up earlier this year between Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall and the Division of Insurance, Republicans have requested regular updates on policies that are cancelled because they don’t conform to Obamacare or because companies are getting out of the individual insurance market.
Udall disputed the original number of nearly a quarter million cancellations in the immediate wake of Obamacare’s rollout in late 2013, arguing that almost all of those whose plans were canceled were given options for renewing them early.
Emails obtained by the website Complete Colorado showed that Udall’s staff pressured the insurance commission to make that distinction to the point where some staffers felt bullied.
“Sen. Udall says our numbers were wrong,” wrote COI director of external affairs Jo Donlin in an email to her colleagues. “They are not wrong. Cancellation notices affected 249,199 people. They want to trash our numbers. I’m holding strong while we get more details. Many have already done early renewals. Regardless, they received cancellation notices.”(RELATED: Sen. Udall Tried To ‘Trash’ Independent Obamacare Cancellation Numbers)
Udall’s critics seized on the exchange as an attempt to cover up Obamacare’s shortcomings. Most vocal is Republican Rep. Cory Gardner, who is locked in a neck-and-neck race with Udall.
“Mark Udall has voted with President Obama 99 percent of the time,” Gardner said in a new campaign ad released Thursday in which he address the issue head on. “I just wish that 1 percent [would have] been a vote against Obamacare.”
Gardner goes on to say “Mark Udall lied to the people of Colorado” for saying those who liked their existing plans and doctors can keep them.
Since the ruckus with the insurance commission became public in January, state Senate Republicans have requested regular updates from the insurance commission about continuing cancellations. In March, the commission reported 1,755 cancellations and in June another 2,320. Last week’s total was 2,105.
In all, nearly 340,000 Coloradans received cancellation notices, although not all are because they don’t conform to the ACA; some carriers are leaving the individual insurance market altogether.
The next open enrollment period for Colorado’s state-run health care exchange begins Nov. 15.
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