Consumers are starting to realize that the health plans they bought through the ACA have limited doctor and hospital networks; some even bought plans on websites that mistakenly said their doctors were included. In order to keep premiums under control and prevent insurers from turning away those with pre-existing conditions, narrow networks are necessary. In fact, even before the ACA, “doctors and hospitals would choose to leave a network-or be pushed out-over reimbursement issues as insurers tried to contain costs.” Insurers say that choices may be limited for those consumers who want low premiums. In fact, doctors and health plans renegotiate throughout the year, so a doctor who may be listed in a network at one time of enrollment may not be there a few months down the line.
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