Obamacare impacts medicare advantage plans, Physicians forced out, Patients losing doctors, Medicare Advantage covers 13 million, Billions of dollars in cuts to fund Obamacare
“If you like your plan, you can keep it.”…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 the Washington Post January 25, 2014.
“Doctors cut from Medicare Advantage networks struggle with what to tell patients”
“Thousands of primary-care doctors and specialists across the country have been terminated from privately run Medicare Advantage plans, sparking a battle between doctors who say patient care is being threatened and insurers that insist they have to reduce costs and streamline their operations.”
“Insurers say they must shrink their physician networks because they face billions of dollars in government-payment cuts over the next decade — reductions that are being used partly to fund insurance coverage for millions of people under the federal Affordable Care Act. They also say the smaller networks will allow them to curb premium increases and to remain nimble as they prepare for an influx of patients under the law.
Medicare Advantage, an alternative to traditional Medicare, covers 13 million beneficiaries, or 27 percent of the people in the federal health-care program for the elderly. Besides providing the standard benefits, the thousands of Medicare Advantage plans often offer extra perks such as free eyeglasses and adhesive bandages. They can do that because, for years, the government has paid the plans more, per patient, than it spends on regular Medicare.”
““It is an outrage. I have patients in their 80s and 90s who have been with me 20 years, and I’m having to tell them that their insurer won’t pay for them to see me anymore. The worst thing is I can’t even tell them why,” Vogelman said.
One of his patients, Jorge Otoya, 68, who is retired from Morgan Stanley’s trading desk, said he had tried, without success, to find a plan that includes both Vogelman and his primary-care doctor at New York University.
“I am a cancer survivor and have been going to this doctor for 15 years,” Otoya said. “He knows my system, left and right. I trust him. I called United Healthcare to protest, but they didn’t care.”
Medical associations say a number of insurers are trimming their networks this year, but the most dramatic reductions may be occurring in United Healthcare’s Medicare Advantage plan. With 3 million members, the AARP-endorsed plan is the largest of its kind in the nation.
United Healthcare said that it aims to reduce its national network of physicians by 10 to 15 percent by the end of 2014. The company declined to provide specific numbers, but medical associations say that in some states, thousands of doctors have been cut.”