It is the time of the year when many people change their insurance. Sometimes, the employer changes insurance coverage, and the employee has no choice. But if you have choices, here are a few things about which to think before you sign on the dotted line. Even if you "just signed", until the open enrollment period is over, odds are you can still change.
First and foremost, many insurance companies, Blue Cross/Blue Shield in particular, are pushing hard to enroll patients in ObamaCare subsidized plans. These are also called "Exchange" or "Market Place" plans. Many physicians, including the physicians in this office are opting out of these plans. The extra adiministrative overhead and regulatory burdens are excessive.
Insurance companies try to lure physicians to participate by promising large numbers of patients. In order to accommodate these numbers, participating physicians often will need to run their offices as assembly lines. Doing so is inconsistent with our mission statement's promise to "treat every patient as if they were family".
Some insurance companies force doctors to either take "all of their products" or "none of their products". For the timed being, we will accept the extra administrative and regulatory burden for this small number of patients. Specifically, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, as of January 1, 2016, will allow physicians to participate in non-ObamaCare plans and opt out of the subsidized plans. You might, if you are in one of the other exchange programs through a commercial insurer, check if we do, for the timed being, accept that plan.
We encourage those who have a choice to avoid the ObamaCare subsidized plans. Odds are your other doctors either have or will opt out soon.
If you have no choice, we would be pleased to continue in your care. We will do so on a fee for service basis. We have set reasonable prices so that our services are affordable. Further, at at least at present, other providers such as hospitals and imaging centers are covered when the service is requested by a non-participating physician. Bottom line is that if you are interested in our services, we can almost always make it work.
Thank you for your attention and have a happy and safe holidy season.
***** Breaking "news". We just received a notice from BC/BS that physicians are encouraged to personally view webinars so as to help you through the enrollment process. They note that if your insurance has not changed since before 3/23/2010 you can still keep this personal policy (if you can afford it). Our thoughts are simple. First, the physician's job is to help patients obtain or maintain good health, not to negotiate patient's insurance contracts. Second, We suggest that you do not sign up for any ObamaCare programs such as all of the new individual policies from BC.BS.