Affordable Care Act Turns One, Continues to Impact New Jersey

Around this time last year, people were beginning to sign up in the healthcare.gov marketplace for the first time under the Affordable Care Act. With the one-year anniversary of the legislation being officially put into action coming up, one can begin to more clearly analyze the kind of impact it has had on the nation and, more specifically, on the state of New Jersey.

It is clear that there are more people throughout the state who have health insurance than ever before. The way that the Affordable Care Act has impacted doctors, however, has a lot more variance. One of the biggest challenges for doctors has been being able to provide recommendations to patients for specialists, as it can be difficult to find specialists that are participating in the new plans that patients have. Other patients are more likely to have higher deductibles or higher up-front costs, which can make recommending treatment options to be a bit of a challenge.

Once doctors are able to find specialists that will accept a patient’s plan, there are other additional challenges. Because specialist networks can be limited under some of the new health plans offered through the marketplace, doctors can have difficulty getting patients in for appointments within a reasonable time frame.

However, there are some physicians throughout the state that report some increases in new patients and a larger enrollment of Medicaid patients. This would indicate that more people are getting the care they need, even if some doctors throughout the state are reporting long wait times for specialists or greater up-front costs for newly insured patients.

The Affordable Care Act and its provisions will likely continue to evolve in the coming years, and with enrollment beginning in November again, the legislation’s impact on New Jersey will also undoubtedly continue to evolve.

Consult a New Jersey health care attorney with Buttaci Leardi & Werner, LLC for advice about issues relating to the Affordable Care Act.

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Posted in: Compliance, Regulation