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Having Health Insurance Doesn’t Guarantee Best Treatment

Having Health Insurance Doesn’t Guarantee Best Treatment

So you have health insurance (and not an Obamacare plan) and you think you’ll be taken care of if you ever get sick. But that perception is being put to the test by reality.

A study done by the Stanford University of Medicine says if you have insurance you're less likely to get the best care than those who aren't covered. Jeff Kallina at Houston Methodist says insurance actually limits what you can do.

 

“Insurance stipulates where you can go and what doctors you can see. It limits folks because of the restrictions of the different plans,” Kallina said. “So despite having insurance, folks may not be able to go to the doctors or hospitals that they intended to go to.”

 

Dr. Kit Delgado led the study and told KTRH he wasn't surprised by the results.

 

“We had seen similar patterns in smaller studies,” Delgado said.

 

So how can the disparity be fixed?

 

“We need to think about ways to share reimbursement for hospitals that might be reluctant to transfer patients to trauma centers if they know they will lose money by doing so,” Delgado explained.

 

You’ll notice we haven’t mentioned Obamacare yet. There are some, like health care analyst Mike Kahley say it could get worse for you under the Affordable Care Act.

 

“A lot of the public exchange networks are narrower than what we saw with the private marketplace. It’s part of the way you control cost and keep prices down. You limit the number of doctors and facilities for people to access,” Kahley explained.

 

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