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Estimated 250,000 Virginians will soon need new insurance plans

Posted at 7:42 PM, Sep 12, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-12 19:42:36-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- By the end of November, an estimated 250,000 Virginians will receive letters telling them their current insurance plans will be cancelled.

This comes one year after they were allowed to renew those plans, even though they didn't meet all the guidelines of the Affordable Care Act. They were given an extension and told this day would come when they had to re-examine their policy.

James Goddall was looking forward to a relaxing retirement. "I get to do a whole lot of nothing,” he said.

But now, the 63-year-old retiree is faced with the tough job of trying to find affordable health Insurance.

"No, it's not affordable.  Not at all.  Not to me anyway,” he said.

He said he applied to get insurance through the Affordable Care Act, but based on his eligibility, he would have to fork over $400 with a $100 deductible, monthly.

"I believe it may have been because of the income bracket that I fell in with my retirement and pension, that it caused me to be in another category,” said Gooddall; another category with a higher premium.

This fall, thousands of Virginians already signed up for their health insurance plans may have to dig even deeper in their pockets to pay for policies that comply with the Affordable Care Act and accompanying state law.

"We can kick the can down the road for another year,” said Sen. John Watkins, (R) Powhatan. “But they're going to face the same thing next year, so, you're putting off the inevitable.”

Senator Watkins chairs the Virginia Health Insurance Reform Commission.

The panel met this week to look at changes in the policies to ensure that they're compatible under federal and state law.

"They're not going to be denied insurance,” said Watkins. “They're going to be offered insurance; in many cases it will have a different benefit structure.”

And that worries uninsured Virginians like Goddall.

"My worst fear is that something was to happen major and I would have to go into the hospital,” said Godall. “And I would be there for a long stint of time and coverage would be expensive that I couldn't afford it.”

I would be stuck there with no coverage,” he said.

Virginian who signed up for the Affordable Care Act will have up until January to renew their existing plan.