Although government officials have been trumpeting that Obamacare’s insurance premiums aren’t expected to be nearly as high as doomsayers expected, healthcare provider choice is sacrificed in order to ensure the lower premiums.
Why does this happen? In order to keep their costs (and subsequently insurance premiums) low, insurance companies are limiting the healthcare providers that consumers are eligible to receive care from. Anyone who signs up for insurance through the online health exchanges will see their healthcare provider choice become severely restricted.
Insurance companies say that they are doing this in order to lower costs and more closely track the quality of eligible healthcare providers. While this may be the case in some states, experts still worry that people who purchase insurance through the exchanges could be left with less quality care than people who purchase commercial insurance.
While patients would still be able to seek treatment from providers outside the insurance companies’ networks, their costs will be extremely high: too high, most likely, for those patients to afford.
For many years, a complaint about Medicaid and other federal health programs has been that they aren’t accepted by all healthcare providers. With insurance companies creating smaller networks of providers for consumers who aren’t using commercial insurance, those complaints are unlikely to go away any time soon.