Recently, I have been seeing the above headline or phrase in a growing number of news articles.
The fact is there is no such thing as accepting Obamacare. There is no Obamacare health plan.
Health plans offered via Obamacare exchanges are virtually no different than the coverage offered by most employers. They vary in deductibles, co-pays, out-of-pocket maximums, tiered benefits and provider networks.
Exchange plans employ the same strategies to minimize premiums that employer and union plans do, including self-funded plans. They restrict provider networks to better extract higher fee discounts. They use higher deductibles and in and out-of-network reimbursement schedules and they use high- deductible health plans (in the legal sense) to link with health savings accounts.
In short, based on the demands of consumers and plan sponsors for lower premiums and lower costs, health plans have shifted costs to the actual users of health care, limited access flexibility and increased their leverage for fee negotiations with physicians and hospitals.
To say “we don’t take Obamacare” is as meaningless and misleading as saying “insurance accepted” when the provider does not actually contractually participate with a health plan.