I hope that you are not in this situation but I know full well that some of our readers are. Imagine this scenario: You are forced to choose between your doctor and your insurance company. If your insurance company drops your doctor, which is happening in record numbers, it may not matter whether the Affordable Care Act is fixed to let you keep your current insurance.
Yesterday it was reported that UnitedHealth Group is the latest to make such a move, by dropping "thousands" of doctors from its network:
UnitedHealth Group has dropped thousands of doctors from its networks in recent weeks, leaving many elderly patients unsure whether they need to switch plans to continue seeing their doctors, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.
The insurer said in October that underfunding of Medicare Advantage plans for the elderly could not be fully offset by the company's other healthcare business.
The company also reported spending more healthcare premiums on medical claims in the third quarter, due mainly to government cuts to payments for Medicare Advantage services.
Have you ever heard of UnitedHealth? According to the New York Post they are the largest health insurer in the nation.
The nation's largest health insurer, United Healthcare, claims the Affordable Care Act is responsible for forcing it to boot doctors from its Medicare Advantage program that serves thousands of elderly patients in the New York metro region.
CEO Jack Larsen, under fire for separating seniors from their MDs, took out full-page ads to explain that cuts in Medicare spending forced the insurer's hand.
"We are working to collaborate with a more focused network of physicians to help us provide higher quality and more affordable health care coverage to meet the needs of our members, and help them get more from their health plan benefits," Larsen said.
"This work has become even more urgent in light of the severe funding reductions for Medicare Advantage plans that have come from Washington."
Even fervent supporters of ObamaCare are investigating complaints that elderly patients are being unnecessarily separated from their doctors.
"We've met with New York doctors and we're looking for the best way to ensure seniors maintain access to the doctors they want," said Max Young, a spokesman for Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
What would you do if you were forced to choose between your doctor and insurance company?
I suppose for most it will come down to a simple decision of finances. They will probably go with whatever is less painful on the pocketbook, but this is not right.
People of this country are waking up to the harsh reality that they no longer have choices in regards to their healthcare. Rest assured that if the largest health provider in the nation makes this move that more are sure to follow.
These are frightening times for those with health issues. These people do not need the drama. They need to focus on getting well.
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