As health care reform unveils many changes to the current industry, doctors worry how patients and families will react. The federal law permits a 3 month grace period for people to pay their premiums prior to cancellation of their policy. However, insurance providers are only responsible for paying the first month during that period meaning 2 months worth of bills may go unpaid.
This 3 month grace period exists for families undergoing unforeseen financial hardships including divorce, death, etc. Doctors are concerned that families may try to exploit this grace period to avoid paying their bills and claims incurred during that period of time. Insurers must pay for the first month, however, doctors may end up completing the tab for the next two months. For doctors, this fear may prevent them from accepting insurance policies in the future because the unpaid bills from the people they service could ultimately lead them into debt.
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