Posted August 20, 2013
If saving money on health insurance meant you had to find a new doctor, would you make the switch? That’s the question on the minds of many health care professionals as new insurance plan options are introduced to Americans this fall as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
According to a HealthPocket survey, 40 percent of people questioned indicated they would not be willing to switch doctors to save money on insurance premium costs, but another 34 percent said they would. Approximately 24 percent of respondents confirmed that they don’t have a regular doctor.
Of the 34 percent who would be willing to switch doctors, more than half said they would do so to save $500 to $1,000 yearly, compared to 7.5 percent who would make the change if they saved $3,000 or more annually.
HealthPocket researchers believe that changes resulting from implementation of the ACA will test patients’ loyalty to their regular doctors. New insurance options through the public marketplace or private exchanges may feature a limited network of health care providers. People purchasing exchange plans may not have the option of using an out-of-network physician, which means they’ll have to switch doctors.
A survey by The Physicians Foundation discovered that nearly 80 percent were very satisfied or extremely satisfied with their family physician or regular care provider visits during the past year.
The American Medical News reports that a stable patient-physician relationship is important for patients to develop trust in their medical providers and for doctors to provide continuity of care. If patients frequently switch doctors, there may be disruptions in the care provided as well as lost history of patients’ health and treatment provided.