Health-care providers limited

California’s new health-insurance exchange may reduce care access for policyholders

In an effort to lower insurance premiums, insurance companies selling health-care coverage via California’s soon-to-launch insurance exchange, Covered California, have limited the number of doctors and hospitals available.

Policyholders purchasing health insurance through the exchange could be faced with losing their longtime doctor, and having access to fewer specialists. They may also have longer wait times for care, according to the Los Angeles Times.

State officials have put pressure on insurers to include more doctors in the exchange. Meanwhile, exchange officials are working to determine providers’ capacity for new patients. “If a plan can’t serve patients, we’ll close it down from taking new enrollment,” said Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California.