Healthcare.gov to add Network-Breadth Ratings
Starting in 2017, consumers will be able to obtain information on network breadth ratings when comparing health care plans. This rating will show the number of doctors, hospitals, and specialists, within each network to help consumers can make informed decisions when choosing the best health plan for their needs.
The third annual health care open-enrollment just ended and many consumers have complained about their lack of choices when it comes to physicians and hospitals within their plans. Most were unaware about the lack of participating doctors or hospitals until they attempted to use their coverage.
The new rating will show how each plans network breadth compares to others in the same geographical location. While insurers will still be allowed to sell plans with narrow networks of providers, now consumers will be able to obtain the information ahead of time so there are no surprises when they need to access care.
Additionally, in some areas, people have the choice of dozens of plans causing the decision making process to be very confusing to navigate. To alleviate the confusion, Healthcare.gov will provide highlight of some of their standard plans on the website in an attempt to make it easier for people to make comparisons.
To enhance continuity of care, some patients will also be allowed to continue using a doctor for up to 90 days after a doctor is dropped from a network. This includes patients in active chemotherapy treatment and certain pregnancy cases.