Plan Cancellations

PREMISE: The President and other supporters of the Affordable Care Act promised that individuals and families who liked their private health plan could keep it. (Video)

HOW'S IT WORKING: The regulations in the Affordable Care Act forced insurance companies to cancel millions of "non-compliant" plans starting in fall of 2013, breaking the promise "If you like your health plan, you can keep it."


  • The original text of the ACA provided for the “grandfathering” of existing health plans that were not significantly changed. Insurers regularly make changes to most plans, and the Obama Administration knew as early as summer 2010 – according to regulatory documents – that more than 40-67 percent of plans would lose grandfathered status. (NBC News)
  • In November 2013, the President apologized for breaking his promise (Washington Post) and proposed a “fix” that could result in the restoration of these insurance plans. But the impact of the proposed “fix” depended on state insurance commissioners and insurance companies to change their regulations and products at very late notice. As a result, most cancelled plans remained cancelled. (Kaiser)
  • Millions of people have lost their health insurance plans as insurers like Aetna, UntitedHealth Group and Humana have exited most of the exchanges created by the ACA. These companies say were simply losing too much money on the exchanges. (NPR
  • Nearly 6 million people had their health plans cancelled and lost coverage as a result of the ACA (RAND Corporation). Another 800,000 plans are expected to be cancelled in 2017, according to NPR.
  • More cancellations are expected in employer-sponsored insurance. In the end, considering cancellations in the individual, small group, and large group markets, as many as 129 million people may lose their insurance plans due to the ACA (American Enterprise Institute).
  • Of the original 23 co-ops, just five remain. As a result, at least 800,000 people are struggling to find other coverage at a reasonable cost (Forbes). 

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