DPC physicians and patients take note!
An aspect of Alexander-Murray will exacerbate an under-appreciated flaw in ACA requirements for plans considered “catastrophic plans.”
Alexander-Murray will allow anyone to have a “catastrophic plan” as such plan is defined by ACA. ACA limits enrollment in these plans to enrollees under 30 years of age or enrollees who have a waiver. Alexander-Murray would do away with these limitations. So far so good.
Another ACA limitation on these plans — found in ACA section 1302(e) — is that the plans will provide no benefits until the enrollee’s annual out of pocket limit has been reached, except that the plan must cover “at least 3 primary care visits.”
This will harmful to patients of DPC practices and is bad policy. It essentially forces primary care to be handled in-network — great for the insurance companies but not for the patients orthe doctors.
Ideally the requirement should be struck from ACA. Alternately, a small change along the lines of this or something similar [in brackets] might help fix this problem:
(B)the plan provides—
(ii)coverage for at least three primary care visits, [unless the enrollee is separately contracted with a direct primary care physician, in which case the plan will refund to the enrollee an amount equal to the value of such coverage.]