Insurers Restricting Choice of Doctors and Hospitals to Keep Costs Down

As Americans have begun shopping for health plans on the insurance exchanges, they are discovering that insurers are restricting their choice of doctors and hospitals in order to keep costs low, and that many of the plans exclude top-rated hospitals.

As Americans have begun shopping for health plans on the insurance exchanges, they are discovering that insurers are restricting their choice of doctors and hospitals in order to keep costs low, and that many of the plans exclude top-rated hospitals.

The Obama administration made it a priority to keep down the cost of insurance on the exchanges, the online marketplaces that are central to the Affordable Care Act. But one way that insurers have been able to offer lower rates is by creating networks that are far smaller than what most Americans are accustomed to.

The decisions have provoked a backlash. In one closely watched case, Seattle Children’s Hospital has filed suit against Washington’s insurance commissioner after a number of insurers kept it out of their provider networks. “It is unprecedented in our market to have major insurance plans exclude Seattle Children’s,” said Sandy Melzer, senior vice president.

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Source: The Washington Post