For the second time since the launch, Covered California has taken down its physician directories because they are full of errors, unreliable, not up to date, and even the doctors themselves don’t know which list they’re on…in addition to showing doctors as fluent in languages they do not speak, doctors being mislabeled, etc.  Oh, and they aren’t doing any better on the national website either…and somehow they have noticed that there are not enough doctors to fill the onslaught of new demand (hey, didn’t we say that four years ago?)

The problem, of course, is exacerbated by the narrowing of networks in California.  Insurance Commissioner David Jones said “it’s a little early for anyone to know how widespread and deep this problem is.  There are a lot of economic incentives for health insurers to narrow their networks (Mr. Jones, what economic incentives?  Covered California asked for this in an attempt to bring rates down), but if they go too far, people won’t have access to care.  Network adequacy will be a big issue in 2014”  One doctor called it a “phantom network”  Larry Levitt, of the Kaiser Family Foundation, said “insurers have made the judgment that people prefer lower premiums to broader networks”