FROM NEWSMAX:by Kathryn McKenzie: WILL THE LAST DOCTOR TO LEAVE PLEASE TURN OFF THE LIGHTS?
That could be the headline for a new report that says medical professionals are exiting Obamacare insurance plans in droves. According to a medical practice trade group, as many as 214,500 doctors will not participate in Affordable Care Act exchange plans in the coming year. A survey by the Medical Group Management Asso. indicates physicians are opting out for TWO REASONS: first, concern over low reimbursement rates, and second, a fear they will not be paid at all for some cases if they accept insurance provided by the exchanges.
Part of the problem involves the way the exchanges are regulated. In March 2012, the Dept. of Health and Human Services set forth the procedures to be followed if patients with an exchange plan stop paying their premiums. In the private healthcare market, people lose coverage as soon as they miss a premium.
But exchange plans are required to provide their members with a 90-day “grace period” to pay up. In theory, a patient could join an exchange plan, stop paying the premium, receive extensive medical care, and escape paying completely. And if the patient doesn’t pay up, the doctor who provided the service could get stiffed.
And by some estimates, for every dollar a private plan pays for a service, Medicare pays $0.80. The Obamacare exchanges, by comparison, pay about $0.60. If more physicians and hospitals decline to accept insurance issued through the exchanges, patients may begin to have trouble finding a nearby doctor.
This hit me close to home the other day, just as I was reading this article. My Doctor says she is “retiring” in April. She will then be open to her patients that want to see her on a cash basis. I will continue to see her, pay cash, and submit my bills to Medicare, but that would not be possible if for some reason I need to see her often. She said that Obamacare is making it just too expensive and complicated to continue as she is.
I have heard that we have a doctor shortage in this country already. Obamacare payments to doctors don’t even pay enough to pay for the nurse that checks a person in. I don’t see that this is going to work very well, or give people even mediocre care. Contact your Congressmen/women, Obamacare needs to be done away with, or some drastic improvements made.