The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Restricting Provider Networks

Sep 30, 2013

Supporters of the federal mandatory health insurance law claim it will lower insurance costs for individual subscribers. What they don’t say is that companies plan to make that possible by restricting the provider networks they offer for lower cost plans. Blue Cross even has the nerve to talk about an “enhanced” network.

If a subscriber needs to see a doctor outside their network, too bad. They’ll have higher out-of- pocket costs. Since the new law prohibits insurers from denying insurance because of pre-existing conditions, one way to discourage such customers is to make it less possible for them to see their own doctors. People on Medicaid have already seen what limited access to doctors means.

This is what “compulsory health insurance” looks like when health care remains organized for profit.