There are variations of this Boston-University-radio-station story all over the Internet1 claiming Massachusetts now allows we health-care consumers/patients in Massachusetts to "shop around" for health care. The reality behind the story seems to me to be totally misleading but I admit that what the Massachusetts state government says the new law covers is also so confusing that I cannot be sure if I'm right2.
So far what the new law appears to mean is that my healthcare policy is now online (I thought it always was?). I can enter my insurance ID number at the Tufts web site (see image above which is the link you go to from the state web site trumpeting this great new "shop around" crap) and find out what my co-pay will be for my physical (or secondary-cataract surgery or flu shot or...) from my doctor.
- The answer to those questions is all on the plastic card in my wallet (or I can read the policy; I understand a lot of people are not anal like me and don't do that)
- I can't really "shop around" because I cannot see the co-pays other insurance companies have with my doctor because I cannot log on to their web sites
- Forgetting the fact that -- like over half the people in Massachusetts -- I'm in a network, I can look up what my co-pay would be with Tufts for other doctors if I went to go to them for a physical (or... or...) instead of to my doctor.
- But why would I do that? I know my co-pay. My co-pay is my co-pay, no matter what doctor I go to (forgetting the fact....)?
- Why would anyone do that anyways assuming they chose their doctor?
1Apparently because the left-wing Kaiser Insurance Company of California pays WBUR of Boston -- and hundreds of other left-wing web sites -- in some way for the articles and then redistributes them nationally
2That's unusual for me. I know I am not always right but I am always sure I am right.