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Critics Complain about Affordable Care Coverage Costs

Gregory Gandrud, the regional vice chairman of the California Republican party, has never been a fan of the Affordable Care Act and he never thought he’d need to be covered by it.

But that all changed when he received a “notice of individual health benefit withdrawal” from Anthem Blue Cross.

Gandrud said the president lied when he said people already insured wouldn’t have to change insurance. The letter from Anthem said he would have to change his current plan to an ACA-compliant plan by January 1.

Anthem suggested he choose a plan through Covered California, the marketplace, or exchange, for insurance.

Gandrud, a former Carpinteria City Councilmember and tax preparer, said his current plan cost him $184 a month while the closest plan now available to him would cost $374 a month.

Deputy Insurance Commissioner Janice Rocco said of Gandrud’s case, “There are some people who will pay more in premiums, but when they go to the doctor they should have lower out-of-pocket costs. They should get free preventative health care and they should pay less in co-pays.” Rocco said there are federal subsidies for families making less than $90,000 annually.

Gandrud, who survived a bout with skin cancer, says he makes more than that.

Rocco said the primary change is that people with pre-existing conditions will no longer be denied coverage or be forced pay a much higher cost for coverage. Gandrud said he considers the law a transfer of wealth.

People can opt out by paying a fine of about $95 a year or they can shop around for a policy of their choice on the exchange. Open enrollment runs through the month of March.

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