Healthcare changes mean many wondering - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Healthcare changes mean many wondering who will accept their insurance


President Barack Obama announced Thursday morning that Americans can continue on their healthcare plans that would have been canceled soon, under new healthcare rules.

"We fumbled the rollout on this healthcare. There are a whole bunch of things about it that are working really well. Most people didn't notice," he said.

That means nearly 5 million Americans who got cancellation notices from their providers will get to keep their plans. Providers will have to make it clear what the plans do not include and let consumers know what their new options are through the federal exchange.

All of the recent changes have left many people in the metro wondering which area hospitals they'll be able to get patient care from.

When they sit down at their computer to sign up for healthcare, they should remember the old saying, "you get what you pay for." While healthy insurance is complicated enough for those who have it, for those who don't, it's a completely foreign concept.

"For those of us who have not had health insurance before, it's very challenging, which is why anyone who is buying health insurance for the first time should really seek out a good guide for the process," said Wayne Powell with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of KC said it's common for some doctors and hospitals to exclude patients on certain plans. Nineteen hospitals and 4,500 doctors accept their Preferred Blue plan, while only seven hospitals and 2,000 doctors accept their Blue Select plan, an option that is 15 percent cheaper.

"Health insurers always work with physician offices as well as hospitals to determine the kinds of rates that facilities will accept," Powell said.

The exclusions have nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act. Powell said it's how health insurance has always worked, but it's just a steeper learning curve for those who are first-timers.

"Every time you buy a health insurance plan, one of the key questions you should be asking is whether you'll able to see your favorite physician, or what hospitals are in the network connected to your health insurance plan," he said.

People can ask those questions by calling Blue Cross and Blue Shield of KC at 1-800-645-8346. Blue KC and Coventry are the two companies offering insurance through the federal exchange.

Click here to also find more help in your area about signing up for the ACA.

Right now, just over a thousand people in Missouri and Kansas have signed up for the federal exchange plans. The president expects many more people to enroll when the website is up and running.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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