Obamacare Clusterfuck: HHS wants insurers to cover out of network docs as in-network...for a little while
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration wants health insurers that offer plans under the Affordable Care Act to cover out-of-network drugs and doctor visits at in-network rates into the new year to help patients transition to their new plans.
Specifically, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is "strongly encouraging" insurers to treat out-of-network providers as in-network if the provider was listed in a plan's network on the date a consumer enrolled.
The timeframe would be determined by the each insurer, an HHS spokesperson told MedPage Today, but "generally we encourage insurers to do this for the beginning months of coverage."
- Is this about scamming people into believing they have better coverage than they do? Because...election? Because...silence the protest that will make its way into the media and continue to color the perception of this law?
- Obviously the administration doesn't understand insurance. Providers who do not have contracts with insurers have no obligation whatsoever to accept insurance reimbursements as final payments. Exchange reimbursements are typically much lower than customary charges, making it likely that providers will balance bill.
- (Update) So what do these people do once they're locked into this intentionally misleading structure and need to see the same docs later in the year?
I am all for insurance paying out as much as possible. But this only increases the probability that people will suffer from surprise balance bills.
The administration gets more stupid by the day.