Narrow networks are not new

From Kaiser Health News:

Officials in at least a half dozen states are pushing back against health plans in the new insurance markets that limit choice of doctors and hospitals in a bid to control medical costs.

The plans don’t start offering coverage until January but they’re facing regulatory action, possible legislation, and in at least one case involving a high-profile children’s hospital, litigation.

The pushback against “narrow” provider networks recalls the backlash against managed care and health maintenance organizations  in the 1990s. Protests from consumers and hospitals eroded those attempts to restrain expenses by narrowing provider networks.

Now criticism of limited networks has risen as consumers realize that, despite President Barack Obama’s pledge that they could keep their doctors, their Affordable Care Act insurance may not include the physicians or hospitals they’ve been seeing.

I’m seriously amazed people are amazed by this. Narrow networks are not new. Networks are not new. I’ve never had a plan that didn’t differentiate between “in network” and “out of network”. I imagine the only plans that don’t have such networks are… government plans.

Has no one heard of an HMO? Seriously?

Do you know why such plans exist? Cause they’re cheaper:

Broader choice comes with a price. The ability to sell less-expensive plans with limited choices of doctors and hospitals helps contain medical inflation, health economists argue. Looser networks could. mean higher prices.

Is this really news?!?!?!


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