Individual Health Insurance Consumers Find Exchange Prices Much Higher

Old policies had been cancelled because of the rollout of Obamacare


Problems with the main "Obamacare" website, HealthCare.gov, have dominated headlines since the site opened for business on Oct. 1.

But another problem is surfacing: Some consumers who have been buying their own insurance are getting cancellation notices – and offers for insurance at dramatically higher rates.

There are multiple reasons this is happening. First, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) sets minimum standards for benefits, including mental-health and substance-abuse treatment, maternity care, prescription drugs, and rehabilitative care, which were not included in many of the old plans. Also, insurance companies are now required to take all comers, regardless of their health status, and so rates are rising to cover their costs as well.