Agents associated with the National Association of Health Underwriters were contacted in 16 cites across the country.
The agents were all certified by state insurance regulators to sell health insurance policies within and without the Obamacare exchanges.
Their responses provide an alarming picture of the profound changes Obamacare is forcing on patients and health care providers. [...]
On the other side of the country, broker Carol Taylor of Roanoke, Va., estimated that participating doctor networks there are shrinking by 70 percent in the exchange plans.
Meanwhile, nationally known health insurance providers like United Healthcare, Aetna, Cigna and Coventry are staying out of the Obamacare exchange marketplaces.
Other well-known companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield are in, but are sharply narrowing their networks to exclude many doctors, as well as elite hospitals.
As a result, well-known hospitals like Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai, New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering and the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital will be out of reach for many exchange patients.
In Naples, Fla., Physicians Regional Hospital will not be available to exchange enrollees. Its parent company purchased the former Cleveland Clinic’s Florida facility in Naples in 2006.
In Georgia, Humana exchange patients are discovering the insurer operates only one approved hospital in the entire state.
The changes wrought by Obamacare are especially hard on patients in rural areas because the new program often puts available medical help far away.
Roanoke’s Taylor said, “just an hour away, in Lynchburg, there is a lot of disruption in that area. They have no providers in that area. They have to drive an hour to see a physician.” None of Lynchburg’s three hospitals are available to exchange patients.