Health plans offering coverage under the Affordable Care Act’s Medicare Advantage program may offer lower prices for some medical services.
The White House is considering offering discounts to medical professionals for health care services in some states.
The idea comes as insurers have been scrambling to get enough members on their exchanges to meet demand.
But some experts warn that there are risks of a new market that could overwhelm those with limited coverage.
“What this is trying to do is create a little bit of a lottery for people who want to be able to afford it,” said Dr. William D. Coughlin, a professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania who studies health care prices.
“The only way to do that is if there’s an incentive for people to go and find that kind of care.
That could be hard to do.
And it could create a situation where people who can afford it would be competing with those who can’t.”
In some states, there are no restrictions on the number of medical doctors a person can have.
But in most states, patients must have a referral from a primary care physician to a doctor’s office.
Some patients have been seeking medical care outside of a doctor.
In some states that have not expanded Medicaid, people who qualify under the ACA’s Medicaid expansion have been asked to find a doctor to see them.
Health plans in those states would have to charge less for a visit to a primary health care provider.
The difference would go toward covering other costs.
“In most of the states, the patients have to go to a hospital to get medical care,” said Sarah Breen, a spokeswoman for the Association of American Medical Colleges.
“We do not see this as a big enough incentive to go outside of the doctor’s network.”
But in some, patients have said they’ve been left out of the system because doctors aren’t offering primary care.
Breen said insurers may offer discounts based on the location of the patient, whether they have insurance or not, and other factors.
She said there are also concerns about the impact on health care quality.
“If you don’t have insurance, you’re not getting the care that you need,” Breen said.
“It’s not necessarily going to be a free lunch.”
Health plans also are trying to avoid competing with traditional insurance companies.
That means offering less comprehensive coverage, which can make it harder to enroll in new policies.
Health insurance companies say that they have been working to increase their offerings.
Some plans have reduced the cost of their plans, for example, while others have reduced deductibles.
But the problem remains that some doctors won’t take new patients.
The American Medical Association and other groups have called on insurers to help those patients find care.
The Medicare Advantage initiative has drawn criticism from some lawmakers who have said the program could cause health insurance premiums to skyrocket.
The program, however, is being used to help individuals buy private insurance.
Under the ACA, individuals and families can buy insurance from private plans with low premiums and high deductibles, which means that most people can buy into plans at much lower costs.
If the new law is successful, health insurers could also be offering cheaper plans.