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Friday April 18th 2014



To Curb Costs, New Health Plans Trim Care Choices

narrowingprovidernetworksThe trend of narrowing provider networks predates the Affordable Care Act but has been speeding up under the law. And not just for individual policyholders; it’s been happening for people who get insurance through work as well.When Diane Shore got a letter that her health policy would be canceled, the small premium increase for the new plan didn’t bother her that much. But the changes in her choices for care really bugged her. “My physicians will no longer be in this network of physicians, or the hospitals,” she says. Shore, 62, owned an IT consulting business in the San Francisco Bay Area and retired when she sold it in 2000. She wants to stick with the health care providers that she’s had for years, she says, including the surgeon who cared for her when she had breast cancer in 1998. ”I have full confidence in her,” she says. “And my primary care doctor has been my primary care doctor for 20 years.” In Shore’s case, the problem is that the Blue Shield of California plan being offered limits her choice of doctors and hospitals to Marin County, according to a recent report at