COLUMBIA (WACH) - For years President Obama has been saying that if you like your individual health care policy, you can keep it. And while that isn't necessarily untrue,it turns out that many individual health care polilcies are having to undergo some changes in order to comply with the health care mandate. What that means for you, if you have an individual health care policy, is that your policy could either become significantly more expensive, or your health care provider could choose to simply cancel the plan.
"The new law has a requirement that each policy maintain a minimum of what are called 10 essential health benefits." says Ernie Csiszar, a Clinical Professor at USC.
Those benefits include things like maternity coverage and dental coverage for children.
And while those sound like good things, not everyone needs all 10 essential health benefits.
"The problem with that of course is, take a woman who's in her late 40s, early 50s. As a woman of that age, it's unlikely that she's going to require maternity coverage." Csiszar states.
But, she has to buy it anyway under the new law.
"The bottom line is even though it's unnecessary coverage, it's mandated and it'll change the cost because now she effectively has to buy that coverage." explains Csiszar.
But to include the benefits, insurance providers may have to go through a long process of adding in changes to existing policies.
And some don't want to do that.
"Often times the shorter, more efficient, route is to simply cancel the policy and offer a new policy to the exisitng client." says Csiszar.
So how do you find out if your policy has been changed or cancelled?
"If you have an individual policy, pre the Affordable Care Act, contact your provider. And that you find out what, if anything, their plans are in respect to the specific policy that you have." Csiszar suggests.
And some insurance providers have already reached out to clients notifying them that their policy has been cancelled.
"Blue Cross has sent out some letters, others have sent out letters, so it's something - I don't think the process is complete yet." concludes Csiszar.
So if you haven't received a letter, reach out to your insurance company and see exactly where your current policy stands.