UnitedHealth Group dropped thousands of doctors from its networks in recent weeks, leaving many elderly patients unsure whether they need to switch plans to continue seeing their doctors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
The insurer said in October that underfunding of Medicare Advantage plans for the elderly could not be fully offset by the company’s other healthcare business. The company also reported spending more healthcare premiums on medical claims in the third quarter, due mainly to government cuts to payments for Medicare Advantage services.
The Journal report said that doctors in at least 10 states were notified of being laid off the plans, some citing “significant changes and pressures in the healthcare environment.” According to the notices, the terminations can be appealed within 30 days.
Tyler Mason, a UnitedHealth spokesperson, was not immediately available for comment when reached by Reuters.
The insurer told the WSJ that its provider networks were always changing and that it expected its Medicare Advantage network to be 85 percent to 90 percent of its current size by the end of 2014.
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1. Obamacare will cost taxpayers $1.8 to $2.6 trillion over the next 10 years. Over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates Obamacare will cost American taxpayers $1.798 trillion. The Republican Senate Budget Committee says CBO’s numbers rely on overly optimistic economic assumptions and puts the true cost at $2.6 trillion.
2. At least 3.5 million Americans have already received health insurance cancelation notices. According to data compiled by the Associated Press, 3.5 million Americans have received notices from their health insurance companies that their plans will be canceled due to Obamacare–something Obama explicitly promised would not occur. Worse, the Associated Press’s calculations are expected to rise, as they are based on data for just half of the states.
3. The now-infamous Obamacare website cost U.S. taxpayers over $1 billion to build. A Bloomberg analysis finds that the broken Obamacare website and its supporting IT infrastructure cost American taxpayers over $1 billion.
4. The New York Times says Obamacare “will leave out two-thirds of poor blacks and single mothers.” The Times’ analysis concluded that Obamacare “will leave out two-thirds of the poor blacks and single mothers and more than half of the low-wage workers who do not have insurance, the very kinds of people that the program was intended to help.”
5. Tens of thousands of worker hours and jobs have already been cut due to Obamacare. Local stories of employers slashing jobs and worker hours have become common since Obamacare went into effect. As of Oct. 17, Investor’s Business Daily’s running Obamacare scorecard listed at least 351 employers who have cut jobs or hours in response to Obamacare.
6. Premiums will rise by 99% for young men and between 55% to 62% for young women. As CBS News has reported, an analysis by the Manhattan Institute finds that, despite the Affordable Care Act’s name, health insurance premiums will rise dramatically under Obamacare for young men and women–the individuals Obamacare relies on to fund coverage and subsidies for older, sicker Americans.
7. Obama promised no less than 23 times that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” NY Magazine compiled 23 video clips of Obama promising that Obamacare would not result in Americans losing their current health care insurance.
House Republicans announced on Saturday afternoon they would vote on a plan that seeks to delay President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law by one year.
“The American people don’t want a government shut down and they don’t want ObamaCare,” said a joint statement from House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and GOP Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA).
“That’s why later today, the House will vote on two amendments to the Senate-passed continuing resolution that will keep the government open and stop as much of the president’s health care law as possible,” it continued.
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