Covered California Removes Glitchy Online Directory of Doctors
Checking up on a doctor is becoming a major snag for Obamacare shoppers in California.
Three weeks into open enrollment, the state’s insurance exchange, Covered California, has pulled its online directory of medical providers after acknowledging there are serious problems with the information. The California Medical Assn. says it found mistakes such as obstetricians labeled as ophthalmologists and the wrong doctors described as fluent in Russian and Farsi.
Anthem Blue Cross, the state’s largest for-profit health insurer, has shut down a similar physician search tool on its website until it can be updated for new plans for sale now under the federal healthcare law. And consumers say calling other insurers and doctor’s offices around the state often yields confusing or conflicting answers, leaving them largely in the dark.
“Nobody can give me a straight answer,” said Larry Greenfield, a 47-year-old musician in Fountain Valley. He said he has checked online and called insurers to no avail as he tries to choose between different exchange policies. “I don’t want to be forced to buy something if I don’t know what I’m getting.”
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