With the implementation of the individual mandate for health insurance just a few months away, many doctors have decided that they will not be accepting patients who sign up through the Obamacare exchanges.
A survey by the New York State Medical Society revealed that 44 percent of doctors are not participating in Obamacare, 23 percent will accept Obamacare customers and 33 percent are not sure.
Out of those few doctors who are participating, three out of four are doing it because they “had to participate” due to contractual obligations with an insurance or medical provider.
The survey also invited the doctors to leave anonymous comments about the Affordable Care Act and the exchanges in particular. Here is what they had to say:
- “I plan to retire if this disaster is implemented. This is a train wreck.”
- “I am seriously considering opting out of all insurance plans including Medicare because of [ObamaCare].”
- “OBAMACARE is a disaster. I have already seen denial of medication, denial of referrals.”
- “Any doctor who accepts the exchange is just a bad businessman/woman. Pays terrible.”
- “I get screwed from insurance companies already. I refuse to get screwed any longer.”
- “This is a joke. We are flying blind.”
Many who commented expressed concern over how much they would get paid if they participated in Obamacare. Nearly four out of five doctors surveyed said they had not yet received a fee chart listing how much the government would pay them for their services.
Those who had seen a fee chart assessed that the government plans to pay doctors much less than insurance companies currently do, and many stated that if they accepted Obamacare-subsidized patients, they wouldn’t be able to make a profit and keep their practices running.
In addition to not signing up to accept Obamacare-subsidized patients, many are not talking about it, either. In fact, nearly half of Americans who see a doctor regularly say that they haven’t heard anything from them about the broader implications of the Affordable Care Act.
Doctors are experiencing an overreaching fear unlike anything the medical field has ever seen before. They are (understandably) fearful for their jobs, their livelihoods and their patients, and they don’t know what to do.
With this news, patients, particularly those who have lost their current coverage and are looking for alternatives, may want to think twice about signing up through the Obamacare exchanges. With such a low number of doctors accepting Obama-care subsidized patients, each doctor who does participate will have a lot more patients to deal with. The wait will be longer and the visits will be shorter. Those who can’t afford private insurance will, as a result, receive lower quality care. In what world is that a good thing?