One of the unintended consequences of ObmaCare’s health insurance on the exchange was the narrow networks with limited access to providers, representing 69 percent of the bronze and silver plans offered.

According to The Wall Street Journal, “ a new analysis by McKinsey & Co. found that 48% of the networks in exchange plans nationwide have limited networks, which means plans with 70% or fewer of local hospitals participating as well as the tiered plans that have higher co-pays to use certain hospitals.”

Plans with these narrow networks and premiums were approximately 17 percent cheaper than others; however, many consumers weren’t aware of this when they purchased the plans based on price only.  This trend is now changing with the biggest providers (WellPoint Inc.’s Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California and Health Net) expanding their networks and, in many cases, doubling the number of hospitals available to policyholders.

While many have blamed the insurance carriers for creating plans with narrow networks, this problem actually rests with the providers who refused to accept the ObamaCare reimbursement rate mandated by the new legislation.   It certainly makes one wonder (if they knew then what they know now), would hospitals and health care providers have been making those rose garden appearances endorsing ObamaCare with the President when the legislation was passed?

So, while insurance carriers have to deal with the complaints (and, in the case of one Blue Shield of California plan, a class-action lawsuit by a California law firm), the real cause of the issue is one of the many unintended consequences of ObamaCare.

Cary Hall

America’s Healthcare Advocate