One of California’s largest healthcare providers admitted that they wrongfully listed nearly 1,000 physicians on the Covered California healthcare exchange two months after a local news station first reported the issues.
Residents told KPIX 5 that they had called dozens of physicians on the list and none of them would accept their new insurance policy with Anthem Blue Cross.
Anthem recently notified 965 doctors that they had wrongfully listed them, according to a statement from the California Medical Association. The notice said physicians were “inadvertently” listed for “a certain period of time” during open Obamacare’s open enrollment period.
Critics believe the mistake was a ploy to boost open enrollment numbers.
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Guda Venkatesh, a Covered California enrollee, told KPIX 5 in February that the reason he chose an Anthem policy was because they listed so many Stanford doctors near his home.
“Except when I started going through the doctors, each one and calling them up, none of them actually accepted the Covered California plan,” Venkatesh said in February. “The premise of Covered California is that you’re able to compare plans and see which one is best for you. But if they are presenting that they have all these doctors in network but they don’t, then it doesn’t work.”
Anthem told patients they will either have to choose new in-network physcians or change to another plan by March 31.
State regulations on the marketplace allow insurers to change the provider list without any notice. The list must be updated quarterly, but there is no program in place to make sure this happens.
"In the process of updating our provider database, we found that while the vast majority of the listings were correct, there were some providers inadvertently listed," Anthem said in a statement Monday.
KPIX 5 reports they still found errors on the list Monday.