Employee Mobility and Keeping One's Doctor

by Matthew Stollak on Tuesday, January 14, 2014

One of the more recent complaints about the Affordable Care Act is that the narrow networks created may mean that some may no longer be able to "keep one's doctor."

For some, the one-on-one relationship with their doctor is inviolate.  They get to know your health history.  You expose every inch of yourself to his or her eyes.  We lean on doctor-patient confidentiality to share our most intimate feelings and concerns.

However, we are a nation on the move.  The average 50 year old will move at least 10 times in their lifetime.  Younger individuals, often not tied down by a mortgage or a family, are most likely to change locations with 65.5 percent having moved over the past five years. 

I have lived in 6 different cities for a period of more than 18 months, which has meant 6 different sets of general practitioners, eye doctors, dentists, etc., not to mention whatever unique maladies that might have needed to be addressed.   

But, doctors are also on the move.  I have now lived in Green Bay for just under 12 years.  Yet, in that time, my primary physician, my dentist, and my asthma specialist have either retired or moved away.  Insurance providers with my employer have also changed to try to keep costs down (prior to the Affordable Care Act) which prompted me to look around at potential health providers as well.

So, how important is keeping one's doctor anyway?  

Just don't talk to me about who cuts my hair....that is a greater challenge.

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