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Covered California Removes Doctor Lists After KPIX 5 Report Finds Mistakes

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(CBS SF)

(CBS SF)

Julie-Watts_BIO-HEAD Julie Watts
Recently named reporter of the year by the Associated Press, Julie’s...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Covered California is shutting down a major portion of its website after a KPIX 5 ConsumerWatch investigation revealed inaccuracies in their list of doctors accepting insurance.

On Tuesday, KPIX 5 reported that newly insured Californians could not find doctors on the Covered California website’s list who would accept their plans.

One East Bay consumer told KPIX 5 he chose an Anthem Blue Cross Plan specifically because the Covered California website said the plan covered a variety of doctors near him. Yet, when he went through three pages of doctors, he could not find a doctor who was on his plan.

Apparently, the physician lists on the website were not updated. Anthem said it was a mistake and said, “Like other insurers, Anthem will continue to double check its provider lists to improve accuracy.

Dana Howard of Covered California admitted it was responsible but said, “It really isn’t feasible for Covered California or any entity to check thousands upon thousands of doctors to make sure that the information that they are providing is accurate.”

On Thursday Covered California said it was taking down the doctor search function on its website. In a statement, the insurance exchange said it “…will discontinue posting of its provider director on its website until further notice after finding errors…”

Covered California is suggesting enrollees to first talk to their insurers about finding alternate doctors. But if they’re still unsatisfied, they can cancel before the end of open enrollment on March 31, 2014.

According to the Department of Managed Health Care, the insurers aren’t breaking any laws. They are only required to update provider lists quarterly and those lists are subject to change at any time.

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