Top Hospitals Opt Out of Obamacare

Americans who sign up for insurance on the state exchanges may not have access to the nation's top hospitals, Watchdog.org reports.

University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio, Best Hospitals, Honor Roll

Though top-ranked hospitals like Case Medical Center accept plans from dozens of private insurers, if you buy your insurance on the Obamacare exchanges your options for treatment may be limited.

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All of this represents a larger problem with the Affordable Care Act, said Archambault, who has extensively studied the law.

"It reflects deeper issues in implementation," he said. "Some hospitals and doctors don't even know if they are in the network."

Just look at Seattle Children's Hospital, which ranks No. 11 on the U.S. News & World Report best pediatric hospital list. When Obamacare rolled out, the hospital found itself with just two out of seven insurance companies on Washington's exchange. The hospital sued the state's Office of Insurance on Oct. 4 for "failure to ensure adequate network coverage."

"Children's is the only pediatric hospital in King County and the preeminent provider of many pediatric specialty services in the Northwest," a hospital press release said. " Some of these specialized services not available elsewhere in our area or region include acute cancer care, level IV neonatal intensive care and heart, liver and intestinal transplantation."

And for doctors in Texas, "Basically, we don't know," said Stephen Brotherton, president of the Texas Medical Association. "We can't find out. At this point, it's part of the various unknowns with the marketplace. There are ways you can be on plans and not even realize it."

Tori Richards is a writer with Watchdog.org. Contact her at tori@watchdog.org or on Twitter: @newswriter2.


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