This article ( http://money.cnn.com/2014/03/19/news/economy/obamacare-doctors/index.html?hpt=hp_t3 ) highlights an important problem for people with healthcare.gov (obamacare) insurance policies. They are having troubling finding doctors, clinics and hospitals who will take the plans. What good does insurance do for you in an emergency when the local hospital won’t take your insurance? You’re paying out of pocket then, PLUS the cost of your useless premiums. The woman in the article is driving over an hour for services which exist in her hometown just to find a doctor who will take her insurance plan.
This problem is by design, the insurance companies narrowed the available list of approved doctors and hospitals in order to keep costs down. But some doctors are just refusing to take it anyway because obamacare policies don’t pay very well.
It’s ironic that the ability to see any doctor you want and not have to worry about being stuck with a huge bill is becoming a problem for those with insurance, and is one of the happy anchor points for members of healthcare sharing ministries. Samaritan members don’t have to worry about networks. We just go in as self pay, ask for a discount, give the doctor no paperwork headaches and he gets paid a fair price. Samaritan members are reimbursed for the bigger incidents over $300, and we can see any medical doctor we want. No insurance refusals. No network headaches. Just healthcare on our own terms.
The lady in the article wants to change her insurance plan, but healthcare.gov is telling her she can’t until next year. If she had just gotten a policy through the insurance company directly she could change it now. Of course, it would probably cost more and not have any subsidies. There is a tradeoff in the insurance world; convenience costs money. Lots of money. In the healthcare sharing world we get the benefit of convenience AND low monthly costs. So nice.