The nation’s top physician groups told White House officials Tuesday they are worried about what consumers will encounter after Jan. 1, when millions are expected to gain coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
The groups expressed worries that patients may unknowingly be signing up for “narrow network” plans that don’t include their current physician or local hospital, said Bob Doherty, a senior vice president for the American College of Physicians.
They’re also concerned about people who switch coverage while in the middle of treatments for cancer and other serious illnesses, which may force them to change providers or prescription drugs.
He also said there were concerns about whether patients might think they have enrolled successfully in plans when they have not. “We talked about whether some people will show up and think they have coverage, but it may not be clear [that] they successfully enrolled in a plan or [that] the health plan got all their information,” Doherty said.
While the meeting was not focused on problems with healthcare.gov, some physicians groups did note that the federal portal and other state insurance sites do not make it easy to find out which doctors are in which health plans, Doherty said.