Hospitals Opt Out of Obamacare, Watchdog.org study, Chances better with non Obamacare individual plans, Doctors and hospital names often not listed on exchanges
“If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan.”…Barack Obama
“millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obamacare, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years.”…NBC News October 29, 2013
“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984″
From US News October 30, 2013.
“Top Hospitals Opt Out of Obamacare”
“The Obama Administration has been claiming that insurance companies will be competing for your dollars under the Affordable Care Act, but apparently they haven’t surveyed the nation’s top hospitals.
Americans who sign up for Obamacare will be getting a big surprise if they expect to access premium health care that may have been previously covered under their personal policies. Most of the top hospitals will accept insurance from just one or two companies operating under Obamacare.
“This doesn’t surprise me,” said Gail Wilensky, Medicare advisor for the second Bush Administration and senior fellow for Project HOPE. “There has been an incredible amount of focus on the premium cost and subsidy, and precious little focus on what you get for your money.”
Regulations driven by the Obama White House have indeed made insurance more affordable – if, like Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, you’re looking only at price. But responding to Obamacare caps on premiums, many insurers will, in turn, simply offer top-tier doctors and hospitals far less cash for services rendered.
Watchdog.org looked at the top 18 hospitals nationwide as ranked by U.S. News and World Report for 2013-2014. We contacted each hospital to determine their contracts and talked to several insurance companies, as well.
The result of our investigation: Many top hospitals are simply opting out of Obamacare.
Chances are the individual plan you purchased outside Obamacare would allow you to go to these facilities. For example, fourth-ranked Cleveland Clinic accepts dozens of insurance plans if you buy one on your own. But go through Obamacare and you have just one choice: Medical Mutual of Ohio.
And that’s not because their exchanges don’t offer options. Both Ohio and California have a dozen insurance companies on their exchanges, yet two of the states’ premier hospitals – Cleveland Clinic and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center – have only one company in their respective networks.”
“Though top-ranked hospitals like Case Medical Center accept plans from dozens of private insurers, if you buy your insurance on the Obamacare exchanges your options for treatment may be limited.
Wellpoint and Aetna’s decision to not educate the public on its choices doesn’t sit well with two experts.
“There is no reason to keep that quiet. It’s not going to be a good secret for very long when people want to use the plans,” Wilensky said.
“In many cases, consumers are shopping blind when it comes to what doctors and hospitals are included in their Obamacare exchange plans,” said Josh Archambault, senior fellow with the think tank Foundation for Government Accountability. “These patients will be in for a rude awakening once they need care, and get stuck with a big bill for going out-of-network without realizing it.”
All of this represents a larger problem with the Affordable Care Act, said Archambault, who has extensively studied the law.
“It reflects deeper issues in implementation,” he said. “Some hospitals and doctors don’t even know if they are in the network.””