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Sat Oct 6, 2012, 06:45 AM


When Doctors Stop Taking Insurance [View all]

Private health insurance used to be the ticket to a doctorís appointment. But thatís no longer the case in some affluent metropolitan enclaves, where many physicians no longer accept insurance and require upfront payment from patients ó cash, checks and credit cards accepted.

On Manhattanís Upper East Side, itís not unusual for a pregnant woman to pay $13,000 out of pocket in advance for childbirth and prenatal care to a physician who does not participate in any health plan. Some gynecologists are charging $650 for an annual checkup. And for pediatricians who shun insurance, parents on the Upper East Side are shelling out $150 to $250 whenever a child falls or runs a high fever.

Efforts by insurers to rein in health care costs by holding down physician fees ó especially for primary care doctors, who play a critical role in health care though they are among the lowest paid doctors ó appear to be accelerating the trend, and some patients say itís getting harder to find an in-network physician.

Orlene Paxson, 33, a stay-at-home mom on Manhattanís Upper East Side, was unable to find an obstetrician she liked who would accept her insurance. Many were not accepting new patients, and one highly recommended doctor did not return her call for five days and did not want to see her until 12 weeks into the pregnancy. It was Mrs. Paxsonís first pregnancy and she did not want to wait, so even though her policy does not cover any out-of-network services, she and her husband chose a doctor who doesnít take insurance and paid the entire $13,000 fee themselves.


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dkf Oct 2012 OP
Robb Oct 2012 #1
HereSince1628 Oct 2012 #2
Robb Oct 2012 #5
dkf Oct 2012 #9
Robb Oct 2012 #13
dkf Oct 2012 #16
JaneyVee Oct 2012 #23
Lindsay Oct 2012 #3
Whovian Oct 2012 #4
MiniMe Oct 2012 #6
dkf Oct 2012 #7
MiniMe Oct 2012 #24
Zalatix Oct 2012 #8
lapislzi Oct 2012 #10
Jackpine Radical Oct 2012 #11
hobbit709 Oct 2012 #12
Jackpine Radical Oct 2012 #14
NotThisTime Oct 2012 #15
Jackpine Radical Oct 2012 #19
Zalatix Oct 2012 #21
WolverineDG Oct 2012 #17
TreasonousBastard Oct 2012 #18
lonestarnot Oct 2012 #20
lumberjack_jeff Oct 2012 #22