TPM Livewire

New Rules Could Help People See More Doctors Under Obamacare

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Bloomberg Businessweek reported that Obamacare health plans could be required to cover 30 percent of "essential community providers" in each county next year, up from 20 percent in 2014. A letter is expected to be sent to insurance companies Tuesday.

Narrow provider networks have become a common criticism of Obamacare among Republicans, who say they violate the president's pledge that people could keep their doctor under the law. According to the Washington Post, 70 percent of plans being sold under Obamacare offer narrow or extremely narrow networks, though the trend toward narrower networks was underway before the law took effect.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services didn't deny the report, but declined to comment further.

"I can't comment on upcoming draft guidance at this time, but in general, we are working to strengthen the network adequacy requirements that took effect for this year for the first time under the Affordable Care Act," Joanne Peters said in a statement to TPM. "These are important provisions and include requirements that insurers have adequate provider networks for consumers, including access to essential community providers that serve low-income, medically underserved individuals."