73,000 losing coverage as insurers drop plans

About 73,000 policy holders around the state will lose their insurance in coming months because nine insurance companies are dropping some health plans that were not grandfathered under the Affordable Care Act, the Maryland Insurance Administration confirmed Monday.

The act requires plans to carry minimum benefits. Only those policies created before March 23, 2010, when the health law passed can be grandfathered, according to the law.

The insurance administration said the plans are being replaced with stronger coverage. The law requires all health plans to end lifetime limits on coverage, end arbitrary cancellations of health coverage and cover adult children on their parents' plans up to age 26, among other benefits.

Most consumers should receive 90-days notice if their plans are being discontinued, the insurance administration said. They could then buy new plans from the carriers or on the state's new insurance exchange.

The breakdown in policy holders includes: CareFirst of Maryland Inc., 25,888; CareFirst BlueChoice, 17,235;Group Hospitalization and Medical Services Inc., 12,435; Aetna Life Insurance Co., 7,007; Coventry Health and Life Insurance Co., 5,615; Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States Inc., 5,019; Mega Life and Health Insurance Co., 28; Celtic Insurance Co., 7; United American Insurance Co., 1.

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