American Medical Association: Obamacare sticks doctors with unpaid bills

Friday, March 21, 2014
By Paul Martin

Sarah Hurtubise

The American Medical Association is protesting an Obamacare provision it argues will leave doctors with the bill for up to two months of unpaid care.

The provision requires insurers to allow patients with federally-subsidized health insurance plans a 90-day grace period to pay their premiums before canceling the coverage. Insurers are on the hook for the first 30 days of care, if the customer never pays up, but doctors will be stuck without payment for any services between 30 and 90 days, until the coverage is canceled.

The American Medical Association was a strong supporter of Obamacare.

“If a patient is being treated for a serious illness, that requires ongoing care,” Dr. Ardis Dee Hoven, president of the AMA, said in a press release Wednesday. “The physician is having to assume the financial risk for this. That’s the bottom line.”

The AMA released new resources Wednesday for its member physicians, offering “step-by-step help for minimizing risk,” while admitting that the Obamacare rule “could pose a significant financial risk for medical practices.”

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