Patterico's Pontifications

9/29/2014

Doctors Still Tough to Find Under ObamaCare in California

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:55 am

L.A. Times (you heard me):

Finding a doctor who takes Obamacare coverage could be just as frustrating for Californians in 2015 as the health-law expansion enters its second year.

The state’s largest health insurers are sticking with their often-criticized narrow networks of doctors, and in some cases they are cutting the number of physicians even more, according to a Times analysis of company data. And the state’s insurance exchange, Covered California, still has no comprehensive directory to help consumers match doctors with health plans.

More satisfied customers.

12 Responses to “Doctors Still Tough to Find Under ObamaCare in California”

  1. ratcheting up dissatisfaction with the status quo is how we’ll move to single-payer

    happyfeet (a785d5)

  2. The LA County Hospital is an enthusiastic member of Obamacare. Isn’t that reassuring ?

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  3. The largest insurer in MN’s exchange is dropping out for 2015.

    Too bad all those other scandals pushed Obamaneycare off section A.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  4. My parents’ doctor stopped taking new Medicare patients several years ago. He says that he simply can’t treat them in a way where he feels he has given them his full and complete attention and expertise without incurring a financial loss owing to the ever-diminishing reimbursements that he receives. Obamacare fans should ponder why California insurers offer “often-criticized narrow networks of doctors” when it is getting harder when so many doctors who are able to are choosing not to deal with patients on government-created plans.

    JVW (638245)

  5. Currently, the only CoveredCA insurer who has any kind of a reasonable network here in Los Angeles is Anthem/Blue Cross. Mainly because they are the only such plan accepted by the giant UCLA health system (three major hospitals, thousands of physicians and facilities throughout the area).

    My wife has had some recent need to rely on her replacement ACA insurance (her former plan was cancelled). All I can say is thank God we spent the time to select this one, or she would have been in deep doodoo.

    At some point I will write up our experience and post it. It’s been an eye-opening journey through the reality of the “Affordable Care Act”

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  6. My wife is also a self-employed health practitioner and her services are covered under most plans in CA. We’ve noticed something a bit odd, statistically, in her newer patients.

    But first a bit about Obamacare subsides:

    There is the highly publicized subsidy for insurance premiums, which everyone seems to focus on. These are based on income, and if people fudge the numbers they will have to pay the subsidy back. Not all that interesting.

    HOWEVER, there is also another subsidy that is FAR more costly and FAR better to have: the co-pay subsidy. So-called “Silver 93.” It is supposed to be available to people in a narrow income window just above the Medicaid cutoff. For a single person this would be from about $16K-18K/year. As I said, very narrow; you would think few would qualify. It grants you the most minimal of co-pays (no deductible, $3-$5 co-pays for most things, $15 for a PET scan). This plan is unavailable to other members of the public, for any price.

    But get this: If you lie to get Silver 93, you DO NOT have to pay the co-pay subsidies back. I repeat: If you lie to get Silver 93, you DO NOT have to pay the co-pay subsidies back.

    About half the new patients my wife sees, and nearly all the new ACA patients, have the Silver 93 plan.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  7. Predictable.

    As with Medicaid (the big reason Hospital go bankrupt) — the less you pay, the less you get.

    Maybe, if they let the market work and raise pricing for Outpatient reimbursement and allowed for MD to monetize on Labs and “Same Day” Procedures …..

    Average Office Encounter = $35 then what you get is garbage care at the very point they claim to want to improve by doing “Wellness.”

    Rodney King's Spirit (8b9b5a)

  8. “You mean it isn’t running perfectly on day one?” — infamous Leftist Hot Gas troll.

    John Hitchcock (8f77cd)

  9. Kevin M (b357ee) — 9/29/2014 @ 11:32 am

    About half the new patients my wife sees, and nearly all the new ACA patients, have the Silver 93 plan.

    Is there some reason that people without that plan would not choose her?

    But there’s another point to note.

    Means testing doesn’t work, and isn’t really designed by its designers to work. Not in the real world. It’s slapdash at best, always has been, and yet, what they want to know would require enormous recordkeeping and an expensive accountant to do accurately for anyone not in the simplest life situation.

    Except to some degree, for people filing income tax returns, where it must not contradict then.

    And in the case of Obamacare, it doesn’t work even then. They’ll just copy last year’s numbers I think in November, unless somebody corrects them.

    Nobody will get notified they owe money until they file an income tax return.

    Sammy Finkelman (ca4c0f)

  10. But get this: If you lie to get Silver 93, you DO NOT have to pay the co-pay subsidies back. I repeat: If you lie to get Silver 93, you DO NOT have to pay the co-pay subsidies back.

    Oh no no no, Kevin M: the new IRS agents hired by the ACA will definitely be cross-checking everyone’s 1040 form with their ACA enrollment to make sure no one is cheating. I mean, if you can trust the IRS and Health and Human Services to sort this out then whom can you trust?

    JVW (638245)

  11. “. . . if you can’t trust the IRS. . .” that should read.

    JVW (638245)

  12. ratcheting up dissatisfaction with the status quo is how we’ll move to single-payer

    happyfeet (a785d5) — 9/29/2014 @ 8:10 am

    I don’t think you’re far off, Happy. Me has a feelin’ that’s been the idea all along.

    Bill H (f9e4cd)


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