Message from the President: FMA addresses UHC terminations  

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As most of you are aware, hundreds of thousands of Floridians have received termination letters from their current health insurers for individual policies for the upcoming year. The majority of these policies fail to have all of the required elements of health insurance policies as required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA or "Obamacare"). This was widely anticipated by those of us who understood the details of the exchanges and the various levels of insurance products that could be offered in 2014. However, this came as a shock to millions of individuals nationwide, as this information was not adequately broadcast by Washington. The public had focused on the earlier message: "If you like your health care policy, you can keep it." So much for transparency.

You may also recall another promise: "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor." As most of you also know, United Healthcare is now involved in the process of terminating approximately 7,000 Florida physicians who care for their Medicare Advantage patients. In response to this alarming trend, I sent a letter this week to Florida's congressional delegation to express the FMA's concern about the negative impacts of these terminations on the patients we serve. I will go to Washington, D.C., on Nov. 14, 2013, to directly visit with those congressional offices that are receptive to my requests to directly discuss these and related issues.

The terminations are taking place nationwide, but they are particularly troubling in Florida, where a larger population of elderly residents accesses medical care through Medicare Advantage plans. The full letter follows this report. As you know, the FMA strongly supports patients' rights to choose their physicians. We will continue to be an aggressive advocate for patients.

W. Alan Harmon, M.D., FACP


Click here to read the full letter.