A cancer survivor that signed up for health insurance on Oklahoma’s federally-run Obamacare exchange was told there isn’t a single doctor that accepts the plan within 400 miles of her, according to KTEN-TX.
Janet Grigg, who has survived colon cancer, attempted to use her newly-purchased Blue Cross Blue Care insurance plan at her regular cancer screening, but was turned down.
“When I got there they said to me that the [insurance] card would not be accepted, and that they had in fact received a memo,” Grigg told KTEN-TX. She was left to pay for the visit out of pocket, as well as any future visits to the practice.
“I would not find a doctor within a 400-mile radius from Dallas up to Oklahoma City that would, in fact, take the plan that I had chosen, that I thought would be accepted in my county, because I did select my county as my residence,” Grigg said.
Grigg said that she called the Obamacare exchange in her state and the representative told her they receive calls like this “every day.”
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, which provides the health care plan, issued a statement to KTEN blaming recent health reform for the problem.
“Because of the dramatic changes occurring within the health care industry, decisions for our existing customers that were once straight forward are not anymore due to many new options available to them,” the company said.
Obamacare changes to the health care industry have led to dramatically narrowed provider networks across the country, causing some customers to lose access to their doctors like Grigg. With the health care law requiring insurers to cover a wide swath of services, narrow networks are one of the only remaining options for insurance companies looking to limit their costs.
Washington state has issued further regulations to simply limit insurers’ ability to narrow networks in an attempt to prevent a situation like Grigg’s. Insurers in the state warned that the move would like drive up insurance premiums even further. (RELATED: Washington Approves Premium-Hiking Regulations Despite Insurer, Hospital Protests)