More people are insured, which means less people in emergency rooms
Reimbursements are low—meaning many doctors won’t take Obamacare
The problem is not just in Connecticut; numerous companies have cut their reimbursement rates for plans that fall under Obamacare. When Blue Shield of California was designing the new health plans it would offer under Obamacare, the insurer asked doctors and hospitals in its network to accept rates as much as 30 percent lower than what it previously paid.
Only 60 percent of the doctors and 75 of the hospitals that participate in the Blue Shield of California’s group plans chose to participate in plans purchased through the state’s insurance exchange. Some of the state’s most prestigious hospitals, including Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and University of California medical centers, dropped out altogether.
Hospital charity care is being tied to Obamacare signups
Parsons is not an exception. Many hospitals are now reevaluating their charity care policies and demanding that those who would normally be eligible at least attempt to sign up for subsidized insurance. According to a high risk pregnancy specialist, Dr. Gilbert Webb, even insurance for one time procedures like pregnancies are affected. As an example, Southern New Hampshire Medical Center in Nashua now states that applicants who do not purchase federally-mandated health insurance when they are eligible to do so will not receive charitable care.
Katherine Arbuckle, senior vice president and chief financial officer at Ascension Health based in St. Louis, told the Washington Post that the question is whether a patient can pay or simply doesn’t want to. “How do you treat those who decline [coverage]? Do they get free services when others have paid?” she asked.
In reality, Obamacare is still in the shakedown phase. In order to ensure that the program is as effective as possible, it needs to be tweaked in certain areas in order to ensure that the most vulnerable populations are covered. Combined with better education about the program, Obamacare should prove to be more successful in years to come.
Information Credit: Vitals