The takeaway by Humboldt-Del Norte County Medical Society executive director Penny Figas: “The patients don’t have access.”
Humboldt is one of 22 rural Northern California counties to make up Covered California’s pricing Region 1. Anthem has signed up 91 percent of the region’s 49,665 enrollees. If Humboldt’s profile resembles its rural brethren, of its 5,679 enrollees, more than 5,000 will have a lot of trouble finding a physician to see them.
Without question, access is a major issue facing Obamacare’s implementation in California. What good is it to sign up for and pay for health insurance if you can’t find a doctor to see you?
While the Patient Protect and Affordable Care Act’s reforms of the individual health insurance market and expanded Medicaid eligibility have increased access to coverage, that coverage becomes far less valuable when health care providers don’t accept it. The health insurance crisis may be morphing into a provider access crisis, with the first indications showing up in rural America where provider networks are the least robust.
Need a speaker or webinar presenter on the Affordable Care Act and the outlook for health care reform? Contact Pilot Healthcare Strategies Principal Fred Pilot by email