SACRAMENTO — State Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, Feb. 27 sent a letter to the Senate Health Committee urging a hearing on the Obamacare-aggravated problem of health care providers listing inaccurate doctor information in their provider network. In addition, Gaines is exploring legislation to protect consumers from the faulty information that is making it impossible for people to choose the right health plan and receive care.
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“Health plans are listing phantom doctors and people are signing up for insurance based on outdated or inaccurate lists,” said Gaines. “Patients who thought they could see the doctor of their choice are finding out that they can’t, after they’ve signed up for coverage. That is unacceptable.”
Recent news reports indicate that hundreds of Californians have been unable to see the doctors they believed were available to them based on the provider network lists at the time they purchased insurance. This confusion has also resulted in people lacking access to local, acute care they believed they would receive, forcing them to travel to different cities for doctor visits within their provider network.
Gaines is calling on the Senate Health Committee to hold a public hearing so that the California Department of Managed Health Care, Covered California, health insurance providers, doctors and affected patients can offer testimony as to the scope of the problem, why the provider lists have been undependable and how the entire process can be improved to provide better health access and outcomes for everyone.
In addition, Gaines is considering legislation that will mandate daily online reporting of any changes in provider networks.
“Obamacare forced a million Californians off their health care plans and into a confusing scramble for new care. Millions more will lose their plans in the next two years,” said Gaines. “Right now insurance companies only have to update their doctor list four times a year. It’s no surprise that the data is no good. Consumers sign up every day and deserve the correct information every day.”
Sen. Ted Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties.