hide captionA checkup might include more pointed questions about insurance status for people with subsidized health coverage.
Doctors worry they won’t get paid by some patients because of an unusual 90-day grace period for government-subsidized health plans.
So several professional groups for doctors are urging their members to check patients’ insurance status before every visit. Consumer advocates say these checks could lead to treatment delays or denials for some patients.
If a person with subsidized insurance falls behind in paying the premiums, the Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover his medical bills for 30 days.
But for the next 60 days, insurers can hold off paying those claims — and ultimately, deny them if the patient doesn’t pay the premiums in full. An insurer’s denial means doctors don’t get paid for their services. If the insurer ends up canceling the policy after 90 days, doctors can bill patients directly but may face difficulty collecting.
“This puts the physician and their patients in a very difficult
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