Nightly News   |  October 28, 2013

Obamacare may raise cost of individual insurance policies

The Affordable Care Act will not affect most traditional employer-based plans, but many of those who purchased insurance policies on their own will see higher premiums. This is in part due to the 10 essential health benefits insurance providers are now required to include. NBC’s Peter Alexander reports.

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>>> the website for the president's new health care law is back up tonight after yet another technical problem over the weekend that prevented people from signing up for health insurance yet again. for many middle class americans who buy their own health insurance , there could be another frustration and that is sticker shock after some learned they must buy new policies that cover more but cost more as well. nbc's peter alexander at the white house for us tonight. peter, good evening.

>> reporter: brian, good evening. after weeks of questions about whether the obama care website could be fixed and when many say that's masking the real issue -- how much the plans will cost. it was one of president obama 's key selling points for the new health care law .

>> if you've got health insurance , it doesn't mean a government takeover. you keep your own insurance. keep your own doctodoctor. if you like your plan you can keep your plan.

>> reporter: debra beauty parlours her own insurance. her employer sent her this notice reading because of the requirements of the new laws we can no longer offer your current policy.

>> all i want is what i currently have. i want to keep my doctors and i would like to have lower premiums.

>> reporter: the insurance company is offering her a thu plan that would cost $484 a month versus her current $293 premium, a 65% increase. why so much more? the affordable care act requires all plans include ten essential health wfts from many attorney ti care to pediatric services. the administration points out many people will get subsidies to help offset higher costs. most traditional employer based and government plans at roughly 80% of americans rely on will not be affected. millions will lose or will have to change their individual policies is not a surprise to the administration. nbc news senior investigative correspondent lisa myers found buried in the 2010 obama care regulations language " wall street journal " predicting a reasonable range for the number of individual policies would terminate is 40% to 67%. health policy experts say the new rules make it difficult to carry over an old plan with less comprehensive coverage.

>> the problem with obama care and where we are at now is the obama administration has decided to im ple meant this in a rigid way.

>> reporter: white house officials insist they have always said insurance policies could change to offer more benefits and to emphasize the affordability. tonight t the administration says nearly half of all uninsured single young adults could get health coverage for $50 a month or less.

>> peter alexander at the white house for us.