One Purcell Doctor Found Who Accepts Certain Affordable Care Act Insurance
PURCELL, Oklahoma - UPDATE: Blue Cross Blue Shield Oklahoma confirmed Friday it found one primary care physician in Purcell who accepts its wider network plan, Blue Preferred PPO. BCBSOK could not find any primary care physicians who accept the lower cost Blue Advantage PPO in Purcell.
Health insurance premiums for many Americans are going up dramatically. Blue Cross Blue Shield is asking for a 76 percent increase for those on individual plans. And now we're learning that could also affect which doctors you go to.
Open enrollment for those who buy insurance through healthcare.gov begins November 1, but right now, you can go online and see what your rates will be and if you'll have to pay more.
If you decide to shop around for a cheaper option, you need to realize your current doctor may not be in the new plan.
Kristi Nimmo's family owns Nimmo's Auto parts in Purcell and for years she got her health insurance through a group plan for businesses, but she just recently found out her premiums are going way up.
“Six hundred fifty-one (dollars) to $863 for 2017,” she told News 9 Wednesday.
So she started shopping around for an individual plan and found a lower cost premium through the Affordable Care Act. Fortunately, she checked to see if her doctor was part of the plan.
“When I checked the networks none of the doctors in Purcell take this insurance and we’re stuck with having to drive somewhere else to see a doctor instead of a hometown doctor,” she said.
“You have to do your due diligence and make sure you’re doing a plan that’s right for you,” said Brett Casey with HealthMarkets.
Casey helps his clients maneuver through which plan is best for them. He said Blue Cross Blue Shield, the only ACA option in Oklahoma, has two networks: the Advantage Network which is typically cheaper but has fewer doctors and the more expensive Preferred Network.
“What blindsides people is they sign up for a plan and find out afterwards their doctor’s not in it,” Casey said.
Casey said it's up to the individual to decide what's best for them. For Nimmo, that was to stay on the group plan so she could have a doctor nearby, but her deductible went up to about $2,200.
About 9 out of 10 Oklahomans will get government subsidies help with those increased premiums. If you need help sorting through all this, agents like Casey are available for no cost to you.