Obamacare Insurers Sweeten Plans With Free Doctor Visits
Written by Editor   
Thursday, January 21, 2016 12:00 AM

Health insurers in several big cities will offer free visits to primary care doctors in their networks. Doctor visits without copays. Or co-insurance. And no expensive deductible to pay off first. Free.

In Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, and more than a dozen other markets, individuals seeking coverage from the insurance exchanges can choose health plans providing free doctor visits, an insurance benefit once considered unthinkable. The improvements are rolling out in a limited number of plans following reports that high co-pays and deductibles have discouraged many Americans who signed up for private coverage the past 2 years from using their new insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Insurers say they hope encouraging visits to doctors will benefit members and their bottom lines by catching illnesses early before they become harder and more expensive to treat.

Jan. 31 is the final deadline for consumers to sign up for 2016 coverage.

The no-fee visits go beyond the many preventive services, such as immunizations and screenings that all insurers must provide under Obamacare without charging a co-pay, even when a deductible hasn’t been met.  Health policy experts say the new approach sets the insurers apart in crowded insurance markets and may attract younger, healthier people who don't have relationships with doctors.

The health plans offering free doctor visits are typically among the lowest-priced plans in many markets, according to a review of plans sold on the exchanges.

Some insurers can offer free visits because they operate health clinics staffed by salaried physicians. Some also offers free yoga and cooking classes.

Source:  http://www.medpagetoday.com/PracticeManagement/Reimbursement/55502