So much conservatism, so little time…
For starters, a doctor can neither accept nor decline “Obamacare.” Obamacare is a law, not an insurance plan.
From the article: “Health plans that consumers buy on the ACA exchange are private insurance, even for consumers who receive federal government subsidies.”
This bears repeating: “Health plans that consumers buy on the ACA exchange are private insurance, even for consumers who receive federal government subsidies.”
Also from the article: They … have no idea that they’ve just been signed up to participate in a plan with a patient population who are, you know, they’re probably not financially well off, and they just signed up for a plan that has a** 40 percent co-payment and potentially high deductible.**
So, under Obamacare, we have mandatory purchase of private insurance plans. In the conservative alternate universe, this is known as “socialism.” Of course, what it actually is is more corporate welfare, designed to protect insurance company profits at everyone else’s expense, as anyone on the actual left, as opposed to the pseudo-left represented by Obama and the Democratic Party, could have told you.
From the article: Insurance companies, though, say they expect physicians to honor their contracts.
Nancy Hanewinckel, a spokeswoman for Humana, which sells plans on the ACA exchange in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, said the insurer received signed consent from existing providers to participate in the new networks.
“In all cases, these providers voluntarily agreed to participate and signed an amendment to their existing contract,’’ Hanewinckel said.
Florida Blue, which sells plans on the ACA exchange in every Florida county, did not build new networks for those plans, said Paul Kluding, a spokesman.
“Based on the contracts our providers have signed with Florida Blue, they have agreed to treat our members regardless of how they obtained their insurance coverage,’’ Kluding said. "
The problem is not between physicians and the government, but between physicians and private insurance companies, who are, as anyone on the actual left can tell you, the only entities who will profit from Obamacare. The problem is a violation of contract law, not the ACA.
As far as this goes: " Eduardo Martinez, an internist and vice president of the Dade Medical Association, said doctors in private practice sometimes don’t have the resources to verify a patient’s benefits, or to be burdened with collecting high deductibles from patients.
Martinez said his office staff has spent as much as 35 minutes on the phone trying to verify a patient’s benefits under an ACA exchange plan, and, he said, “you don’t always get the correct information.’’
Well, this is exactly what happens with any insurance plan, ACA or not. This is what your physician’s staff has been doing for years. And it works in reverse for patients as well.
I can’t be the only one who has spent hours on the phone with an insurance company explaining to a CSR that my terminally ill mother’s enteral supplies ARE covered, and that there is a significant difference between “permitted to eat” and “able to eat.” Unless, of course, she got that GI port as elective surgery? Maybe she thought she was spending way too much time eating meals the old-fashioned way?
Neither have I spent hours sorting out bills from a “mystery doc” who turned out to have been an out-of-network doc who popped in to check on one of my children during an ER visit or hospital stay. Now that’s always fun… as if you demand to see each individual doctor’s credentials before they examine your child, even though you have already gone to an in-network hospital.
Good thing I didn’t have to deal with a “faceless bureaucracy” in any of that.
If you want to argue that Obamacare is a bad law, I would agree with you. Our disagreement would be over why it is a bad law. Now, one last thing from the article:
“It’s unknown how many of the 983,775 Floridians who selected a private plan have been turned away by doctors in their network but Florida’s Department of Financial Services reported receiving 63 complaints from consumers who bought a plan on the ACA exchange but could not get in to see a physician in their network.”
OK, so 63 divided by 983,775 = .0064%. So these figures are underwhelming, to say the least. Even so, If you want to argue that Obamacare is a bad law, I would agree with you. Our disagreement would be over why it is a bad law.