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Topics: Obamacare

Obamacare access shock hits California

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Philip Klein,Obamacare,California,Health Care,Minusextra

As I wrote a number of times last year, once Americans obtained health insurance through President Obama's health care law, they'd start to realize that under many plans, the choice of doctors and hospitals is limited.

The reason is that to keep premiums down while meeting all the requirements of Obamacare, many insurers offering plans through the exchanges simply slashed the networks of doctors and providers.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported that this is already starting to happen in California, just over a month after the new plans kicked in:

After overcoming website glitches and long waits to get Obamacare, some patients are now running into frustrating new roadblocks at the doctor's office.

A month into the most sweeping changes to health care in half a century, people are having trouble finding doctors at all, getting faulty information on which ones are covered and receiving little help from insurers swamped by new business.

Experts have warned for months that the logjam was inevitable. But the extent of the problems is taking by surprise many patients — and even doctors — as frustrations mount.

Aliso Viejo resident Danielle Nelson said Anthem Blue Cross promised half a dozen times that her oncologists would be covered under her new policy. She was diagnosed last year with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and discovered a suspicious lump near her jaw in early January.

But when she went to her oncologist's office, she promptly encountered a bright orange sign saying that Covered California plans are not accepted.

"I'm a complete fan of the Affordable Care Act, but now I can't sleep at night," Nelson said. "I can't imagine this is how President Obama wanted it to happen."

Read more here.

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