Remember that promise about keeping your doctor if you like your doctor? Well, if you are getting your insurance through one of the Obamacare exchanges, there is a one in three chance that your provider won’t be in the system.
According to the Washington Post, a study by consulting firm Avalere Health reveals that health insurance plans purchased through Obamacare exchanges offer two-thirds as many doctor and hospital choices as plans purchased independently.
Consumers who bought insurance on the health exchanges last year had access to one-third fewer doctors and hospitals, on average, than people with traditional employer-provided coverage, according to the analysis, which was released Wednesday.
Compared with traditional employer coverage, exchange plans had networks with 42 percent fewer cancer and cardiac specialists; 32 percent fewer mental health and primary-care doctors, and 24 percent fewer hospitals, the Avalere analysis found.
The report underscores the importance of consumers knowing whether particular doctors or hospitals are included in their plans’ networks. Some plans, such as HMOs, don’t permit out-of-network coverage.
It also underscores one of the problems with the president’s signature laws. Namely, it is not consumer-centric.
A poll last year by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that the people most likely to buy coverage on the insurance marketplaces were more willing than the public at large and people with employment-based coverage to accept a narrower network of doctors and hospitals in exchange for lower costs. In general, older people and those with higher incomes prefer broad networks, even if they cost more, while younger people and those with lower incomes are more evenly divided.
Obamacare exchanges: just another way progressive programs limit your freedom.
Cross-posted at The Lid