Monday, August 04, 2014

Obamacare Adventures: Epilogue?

Probably not the epilogue as I'm sure I'll be dealing with this in some manner for who knows how long. The long awaited question posed by readers and wondered by myself has been answered, though: Does Redwood Family Practice in Eureka accept Covered California (Obamacare) insurance?

Short answer: NO. This, despite the two or three phone calls I'd made to them earlier asking about it. 

As I recall, the first time they said they accepted Anthem/Blue Cross. The second time I called and specifically asked about Anthem/ Blue Cross policies under Covered California. I was told that time they accepted and processed all A/BC charges the same way, but weren't sure whether they'd continue depending on reimbursement rates. Third time- just the other day- I was told they accepted all insurance, with the exception of a California....something, but it wasn't Covered CA. 

Went in there today for the first time since signing on with Obamacare A/BC. I gave the gal my card and she immediately told me that it was a Covered California plan and "...we don't even bill Covered California...". She said they'd give me a receipt for my payment and I had to send it in to A/BC. What happens after that is between me and A/BC. 

Oh, well. I wasn't too surprised. I was surprised to have insult added to injury, though. When I went to check out my bill was $98.00. That's an increase of $19.00 over what I paid last time and a $22.00 increase over the price before Obamacare. It looks like I may have been priced out of paying out- of- pocket at this point, aside from maybe just going in once a year for a prescription refill.

The question now is whether to continue paying my A/BC premiums for insurance my medical provider won't accept?

Update: Silly me, and apologies- kinda- to Redwood Family Practice. After I made the original post I went and looked at the receipt they gave me. I guess they charged me the $18 for the poop smear test for butt cancer I was given. No, they didn't perform it. She just gave me a test in an envelope.

She gave me one a year or two ago, though, and I wasn't charged for it. Maybe this means the analysis is already paid for, should I decide to actually do it and send it in? I don't know. I threw the old one away. Or maybe they're charging just to offer you the test now? Whatever.


At 2:58 PM, Blogger Rose said...

And that's just the beginning of the price increases.

At 3:12 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Yep. Might well be. I've been reading news stories recently that premiums are expected to go up by up 8% for some folks, 4% for others. That doesn't count the increase in out of pocket costs, either.

It used to be $77.00 for a short visit at Redwood Family Practice. They raised it to $80 as soon as Obmacare officially started. The jump to $98 was unexpected, although I suppose they might have billed me extra for a little extra time.

Not my fault if they did, though. We didn't do anything that we didn't normally do. They just had some new guy in there that asked some questions. Nice guy. Wonder if they charged me extra for him?

At 4:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I assume you've had insurance before?

If you have then you know that health insurance rates have been rising for a long time. Faster than inflation.

From 2003 to 2010 health insurance premiums increased 63%.

Average increases for California 2014 to 2015 will be 4.2%, low compared to many past years.

The rising cost of health insurance is due to the rising cost of health care.

Expect that rise to slow over coming years. We're already seeing hospitals saving significant amount because they now treat so many fewer people who are now being seen in doctor's offices and clinics. Now that they have insurance they don't need to got the emergency room for minor treatments.

As we see more preventative care we should experience more savings. Those savings won't happen overnight, but you've got to recognize that healthy people cost the system less money.

And look for a more reasonable provider. Let Redwood Family Practice try to survive with only the Rich for customers.

At 6:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you wanted to stay with your current provider, you should have selected an insurer who includes your current provider in their network.

I took a look at the list of providers in Humboldt for Anthem/ Blue Cross, and the list for Blue Cross of California, and went with the latter when I saw that the latter both included my current provider, and was a much longer and more comprehensive list. So far, no problems with BC of CA.

I think you can change insurers when your current policy is up, which I assume is 12 months after it started. You might want to look into your options, and specifically you might want to look into whether BC of CA has your current provider in their network. If so, that might be a better option for you, if keeping your current provider is important to you (and it sounds like it must be, because it sounds like you're not interested in finding a new provider that IS covered by your A/BC policy).

At 6:45 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Just realized something. Update on the original post.


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