Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is the latest insurer to announce it is withdrawing from Obamacare next year, citing big losses and uncertainty. The move would leave nearly 19,000 residents in Western Missouri without a coverage option unless another carrier steps in.
The company has roughly 67,000 policyholders in the 32 counties it services in Missouri and Kansas, mainly in the Kansas City area. It said that it’s lost more than $100 million on Obamacare plans in the three years since the exchanges opened.
CNN Money describes the problem as “Here We Go Again” because many insurers are fleeing the Affordable Care Act otherwise known as the ACA or Obamacare.
While this may buck conventional wisdom, having insurance coverage with a deductible which a patient cant afford to pay could mean they actually can’t afford to get care. In other words, in many cases, its better to pay cash for your doctor visits. In addition, paying cash can quite often cost less than paying through insurance – even at the same doctor or medical office.
To make matters worse, users of insurance actually can pay 3.4 times more than cash for their common procedures like an MRI according to the Wall Street Journal. To be specific, in San Francisco, the cash price is as low as $750 and the typical patient responsibility if you go through insurance is $2,500!
As insurance costs continue to escalate and insurers pull out of market after market, patients should consider shopping for their healthcare like any other product – for example by price, distance ratings and availability. Its not unlike how you might book a hotel.
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