Seniors are Feeling the Pinch of ObamaCare

A7TNAT_2180031bUnitedHealthcare, is terminating contracts with up to 2,100 doctors serving 8,000 Medicare Advantage patients in the New York metro region.

There are 2.6 million elderly New Yorkers who receive Medicare, the public health insurance program for the elderly. But one in three patients — nearly 900,000 — are enrolled in Advantage, Medicare HMOs run by private insurers.

Dr. Jonathan Leibowitz, who serves 30 patients under Medicare Advantage at his Brooklyn practice, said he was blindsided by UnitedHealthcare’s decision to give him the boot.

“A patient can’t see his doctor? What are they doing!” he asked.

UnitedHealthcare told Leibowitz that because of “significant changes and pressures in the health-care environment,” he’d be getting the ax on Jan. 1.

From the New York Post.

Comments (13)

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  1. BHS says:

    “significant changes and pressures in the health-care environment”

    That’s one way to put it.

  2. John Fembup says:

    It’s been reported that United is doing about the same thing with Medicare Advantage in Connecticut. Oddly, I’ve also read that Aetna is expanding its Medicare Advantage networks.

    Go figure.

  3. PJ says:

    “A patient can’t see his doctor? What are they doing!” he asked.

    And we’re just going to keep seeing more of this.

    • Connor says:

      Absolutely, it has only been increasing. This will only go away once everyone has already switched. I will point out though, insurance companies do this same thing with not only doctors, but drugs as well.

      • Ana Day says:

        Exactly Connor, its just now everything has become much more open.

        • Connor says:

          Not only that, the media has taken a bigger interest in what’s happening and instantly concludes everything is a result of Obamacare.

  4. Connor says:

    “Now they’re doing away with my doctor. They kicked him out! After 20 years, that’s not right.”

    This is what Republicans were trying to avoid

  5. Bubba says:

    I wonder if the provider directory CMS send seniors is really a list of the Death Panelists?

  6. Brendan says:

    I can’t help wondering if part of the reason the web site access can’t get up and running is the underlying regulations. They must have propagated the regs into machine logic – and can you imagine the mess that must be? Most government regulations are a hodgepodge of illogic and contradictions to begin with. If they had their million shakespearean monkeys spending half a billion dollars plugging in illogical if-then-else’s into the system, and tried to actually make it worse, they might never have discovered the mess during alpha testing – not with the small number of people they used. Only when you had a few thousand random individual Americans, each with their own issues and probabilistic idiosyncrasies, would the problems begin and the website crash.

    As this is government, I am guessing that they may still have no idea why its doing it. They take it down, they run a few carefully constructed scenarios, and it seems to run fine. They put it up, and the guiding hand of the marketplace is suddenly shackled by internal government illogic, and the site crashes. If this is the case, they may spend the next month running in circles. I’m not saying they aren’t smart enough to realize that this is probably their issue. I’m thinking they are too blind to realize it…

    John, I would be interested in your thoughts on this. I know its the wrong thread, but this has been rolling around in my mind for weeks, and I’ve heard no one mention it. I designed and built one of the first online environmental tracking sites in the nation in the 90′s, where we had hundreds of different consulting companies loading complex data into databases, and the logic to track it was difficult. I can only imagine what the regulations have spawned here…