Obamarationing: ACA Enrollers Get To Pay Insurance For Less Care

I warned people about this in September and now it is happening. On NPR’s Weekend Edition, Fred Mogul reports, “So You Found An Exchange Plan. But Can You Find A Provider?

John Batteiger applied for insurance coverage on the New York State exchange. But after he’d selected a plan, he had second thoughts: He’d forgotten to check if the plan he picked included a hospital near him.

Batteiger is 54 and healthy. But all things being equal, he figures, why not make sure his neighborhood hospitals are considered “in-network” with his insurance plans?

Turned out that wasn’t so easy to figure out on his own. So he and , a ,” are in a Manhattan office doing some digging.

After a little hunting and pecking, Batteiger learns that a nearby hospital, Lenox Hill, was not in the first plan he chose. Eventually he did find a plan that includes Lenox — and also brings his monthly premium down from about $290 to $230 per month.

“To save $60 a month — that’s a really good thing,” Batteiger says.

It’s safe to say, however, that not everyone will be so lucky. New York City has a lot of hospitals to choose from, but many of them are considered in-network for only a few insurance plans. , vice president of public policy and communications at the National Committee for Quality Assurance, says health plans get better deals by limiting the number of in-network hospitals.

“If a health plan can say, ‘Instead of five hospitals in this city, we’re [going to] have three,’ then those three hospitals that are included in the network might be able to give some discounts to the health plan,” she explains.

So, again, less product. Assuming everything we used to complain about in our former healthcare system was true (and I suspect much of it was), Obamacare has made it worse.

The philosophy of the Affordable Care Act: “Have a headache? Here, let me kick you in the head. That will fix it.”