Recently, we reported that consumers are struggling to find doctors willing to accept their ObamaCare plans. Many doctors who do accept ObamaCare have complaints about the system.  

Now, we’re learning that some 214,000 doctors – about one quarter of the nation’s reported 890,000 doctors- won’t participate in ObamaCare plans. Not surprisingly, it has a lot to do with the cost and potential financial damage to their practices, which confirms other reports.

A new survey of some 40,000 doctors finds that physicians are opting out of the exchanges because those plans offer significantly lower reimbursement rates than private market plans and even in some instances Medicaid. There is also confusion among consumers about their out-of-pocket costs, including high deductibles, which a large majority of doctors say ObamaCare patients carry.

Doctors are also fearful that patients will stop paying their premiums (thereby forfeiting their coverage), which could leave providers with no way to recoup their losses. The 90-day grace period for patients to pay up makes that a real possibility.

More than half of doctors (59 percent) think ObamaCare will be unfavorable or very unfavorable to their practice—yet they are participating to remain competitive. At least a quarter have experienced a bump in patient traffic.

The big question is whether new enrollees will continue to pay their premiums and make the high deductibles or whether doctors end up on the hook for unpaid bills, which would be disastrous for practices.

Here’s why:

… in order to better compete in the exchanges, private insurers are offering providers reimbursement significantly below that benchmark.

It is estimated that where private plans pay $1.00 for a service, Medicare pays $0.80, and ACA exchange plans are now paying about $0.60.[v] Many exchange plans are, in fact, pinning their reimbursement rates to the Medicaid managed care schedule, which is significantly below average private market rates.

There is also concern among health care providers—hospitals and physicians—that patients enrolled in the new exchange plans do not fully understand their benefits, or their obligations. Specifically, providers are hesitating to accept exchange plans because consumers may be pushed towards a higher-deductible plan with a lower premium without understanding what a deductible is.

Health care providers face many new obligations and restrictions as a result of the ACA, as do insurers. Because of the pressure placed on insurance companies to keep the cost of exchange plans unrealistically low, providers are being reimbursed at financially unsustainable rates… What results is a market where not only hospitals and physicians are opting-out of exchanges plans, but individuals and families are opting-out as well. Some families who were insured before the ACA went into effect are finding that it is in fact more reasonable to pay the individual mandate penalty and pay for health care out of pocket than it is to pay a monthly premium for insurance coverage that leaves them unable to access care.

Doesn’t this seem like a doctor’s paradise? Take on more patients but at lower reimbursement rates at the risk of receiving less pay or having patients who didn’t understand just how much they would be responsible for and potentially skipping out and leaving you on the hook for your services?

ObamaCare has always been a bad deal –and it still is. It’s rigged against young, healthy Americans. It penalizes any American who doesn’t find coverage of some kind. It forces employers to provide coverage to workers, driving up the costs of healthcare. It forces doctors to provide the same care to more people for less money.

Let’s not forget just how “affordable” the Affordable Care Act is. Eighty percent of those who carry it need taxpayer-funded subsidies just to pay their monthly premiums. However, even then the deductibles may be too high for them to actually use their plans.

The problems with ObamaCare are fundamental. While there is no big rollout for this year’s open enrollment, the proof of its effectiveness is in the pudding and so far the pudding stinks!