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Time will tell if Affordable Care Act a positive

So much for President Barack Obama’s promise: “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”

Not the case for about 30,000 New Mexicans who on Jan. 1 will lose their individual health insurance plans because the plans don’t meet standards set by the Affordable Care Act.

In May, New Mexico Insurance Superintendent John Franchini issued an order that all plans sold in New Mexico after Dec. 31 must comply with ACA standards. A flurry of letters from insurance providers are going out to holders of plans that don’t.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico already has notified about 13,000 customers with insurance plans that were in place before the health law was enacted in 2010 that they will have to find new ones. In the next few weeks, 6,800 Presbyterian Health Plan members will get similar notices.

Those affected by the change can go to the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange to shop for insurance plans offered by five different companies, including Blue Cross and Presbyterian.

Franchini sees this as a positive moment. “I think there are many opportunities for people to save money and increase their benefits,” he said.

He may well be right. Or not, at least in the sense they are better benefits even if the insured don’t feel they need them.

In any case, many people are justifiably angry at the government deciding what’s best for them, their families and their budgets. And that they were lied to.

Time will tell if it is a positive moment, but the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land. Open enrollment for 2015 begins Nov. 15, so get ready to shop.

— Albuquerque Journal