Editorial: Other side of health insurance issue starting to come out

Finally — we are getting another side of the story.

Organized physicians are pushing back at private insurers’ decisions to drop doctors and practices from coverage plans.

While we respect companies’ rights to do so, we also appreciate patients’ questions and concerns about these vital issues, especially against the backdrop of national health care reform. We believe there is much to be gained from a dialogue, though the Florida Medical Association goes further. It has filed a lawsuit and urges a full-fledged congressional probe against at least one insurer, UnitedHealthcare. The American Medical Association weighs in as well, since termination letters sent in October affected doctors in 10 other states. In Collier and Lee counties, 14,000 patients are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans through UnitedHealthcare.

The president of the Collier County Medical Society says now is the time for physicians and patients to speak up, while UnitedHealthcare insists it is working to assure access to doctors and keep policies affordable, in accord with federal law.

When there is a gap that wide in such an important public issue, we need to hear more.

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