Remember this term: narrow network. What this means is that as insurance companies get more controlling they will be very selective about which doctor you can see. They will remove doctors who they deem too costly, who don’t play by their quality rules, etc. Doctors also may opt out of some low-balling insurance networks. The bottom line is that we all know President Obama’s multiple quotes saying, “If you like the plan you have, you can keep it. If you like the doctor you have, you can keep your doctor, too. The only change you’ll see are falling costs as our reforms take hold” was absolute horsesh%t. Now we have this:
Jon Fougner says his simple search for a doctor through the insurance company website turned into a ‘Dickensian nightmare.’ Some doctors did not accept new patients, others never returned his calls, and some had wrong contact information listed on the Empire BlueCross BlueShield website, he claims. He accuses Empire of breach of contract, fraud and false advertising.
That, my friends, is called a narrow network. Mr. Fougner’s best bet is the get the lowest monthly plan he can purchase with the highest deductible and then he should find a direct primary care doctor. What we all should be pushing for is not to expand these networks but to get some CHEAP catastrophic plans on the exchange or from insurance companies that people can buy. Those plans should be stripped of everything except emergencies, like care insurance, and then let people cover healthcare until they meet those deductibles. This will promote comparative shopping by patients and that will drive down costs.