The Coming Obamacare Problem: Reimbursement Rates

Posted: Dec 26, 2013 10:17 AM

There are two criticisms being made simultaneously about the Obamacare insurance plans - that the new mandates are driving up the cost of insurance and that, despite the new mandates, some of the problems that would unexpectedly affect consumers like high deductibles will continue to persist.

Now there are reports that one of the ways that insurers will continue to try to hold consumers' costs down is what the federal government does: cut doctor reimbursement rates so that it will be difficult for doctors to actually see patients.

Fox News reports:

Analysts are warning that the plans are likely to give them access to fewer doctors and hospitals. So much so, they warn, that the system could begin to resemble Medicaid, the health care program for low-income Americans.

"Indeed, I think this will eventually be like Medicaid," said Merrill Matthews, director of the Council for Affordable Health Insurance.

Matthews said the only way many insurers are going to be able to control costs is by "simply clamping down on the amount they are willing to pay."

Just as with Medicaid, analysts warn that if payments get too low, many doctors might start refusing to see patients. That will leave more and more patients jockeying to see fewer and fewer doctors.

Medicaid's reimbursement rates are the main reason why it is some of the worst health insurance in the country. Despite President Obama's "best efforts," the exchange-based insurance that Obamacare mandates could leave millions of Americans in the lurch - even when all the current "glitches" are resolved.

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