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Doctors, patients cope with changes brought by health reform

Doctors, patients cope with changes brought by health reform

Picture of Jondi Gumz
Courtesy of Wellcome Images

As the March 15 deadline approaches to buy a 2014 health plan at the state exchange, Santa Cruz County residents are on their own to figure out which doctors are in the three Covered California plans available to them: Anthem, Blue Shield and Health Net.

Read about the projects of other 2014 California Health Journalism Fellows.

Covered California has declined to release information on enrollment in Santa Cruz County, saying that would violate HIPAA. Anthem, which has the most enrollment for a region that includes Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito counties, declines to say how many doctors are in its Covered California plan for that region.

One man who turned to Covered California after his existing policy was canceled got different answers when he asked if the doctors he wanted were in the health plan he contemplated buying. The Covered California rep said yes,  the doctors were not sure, and the health plan said some of them were in the network.

The man who heads the association that represents 300+ doctors in private practice in Santa Cruz County said, "We are all flying pretty blind from a physician capacity perspective."

You can read more on this in a recent story I published in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

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