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North Coast policyholders hope to keep health insurance with Obamacare change

Blue Shield agreed last week to extend 115,000 policy cancellations in California by three months, from Dec. 31 to March 31, and on Thursday Obama gave insurers the option of continuing current plans through 2014.

That's where Moscowitz's enthusiasm wavered.

"I'm still nervous until I hear from Blue Shield," she said. "Companies can allow us to keep what we have, but they don't necessarily have to."

"I really want to keep the plan I've got," Moscowitz said, echoing the sentiments of millions of Americans.

Mike Fitzpatrick, a Windsor general contractor, saw some political expediency in the president's action.

"He put it off until after the election," Fitzpatrick said. "You kick the can down the road."

Fitzpatrick received a cancellation notice from Anthem Blue Cross in September on the plan for him and his wife that cost $588 a month.

Anthem suggested a plan with a premium of $945 a month, and Fitzpatrick said he found a plan at Covered California for $840 — an increase of more than $3,000 a year.

"That's $3,000 that won't stay in our local economy," he said. "You have to have insurance."

Anthem, which issued 104,000 year-end cancellations in California, had agreed to postpone them until Feb. 28.


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