The new health reform law removes health insurance limits on spending, but gives insurers free reign to limit the doctors and hospitals you have access to. A strange discrepancy that maybe someone else can explain. Anyway, expect a lot more of this going forward:
The availability of doctors varies by each narrow network. Woodland Hills-based Health Net, one of the first to promote the strategy in California, features 47,000 doctors in its full HMO network but just 7,000 physicians in its Silver plan.
The change [to a “Silver” network] roughly cut in half an expected 13% increase in premiums, and most employees were able to keep their doctors, who were part of the smaller network.
An even smaller network, Bronze, has 1,600 doctors in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Bernardino counties, and can shave as much as 24% off insurance bills.
Full article on “narrow network” HMOs.