Some people who are shopping around on the state's health exchange are frustrated with the list of "in network" providers from each insurance company. A number of them emailed KING 5.
Teresa wrote, "...the following hospitals are OUT OF NETWORK providers for Premera's Exchange plans: Swedish Hospital, University of Washington Medical Center, Providence Hospital, Harborview
and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance..."
Other shoppers on the exchange say even if they stay with the same insurance company they have now, they would be forced to switch doctors.
"My wife has cancer and when I looked for her oncologist at Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Care center, he was not listed," wrote David in Skagit County. "I called Premera and they said we had to switch oncologists".
"We are seeing some of the health insurers now, narrowing down their network, of who are their 'in network' doctors and hospitals," said Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler.
Kreidler said it's a complaint they're hearing at his office as well. But allowing insurance companies to limit providers may be a necessary evil in order to get them to participate in the exchange.
"One of the ways they work in the exchange to hold down costs is to have narrower networks," Kreidler said. "Most of the carriers wound up doing that, meaning that they were much limited as to which hospitals and doctors would be participating in the 'inside the exchange' plan."
Kriedler suggests checking with your doctor or hospital, and making sure they are not just covered by the insurance company on the exchange, but by the particular plan that company is offering.
Children's Hospital filed suit with the insurance commisioner earlier this month because it was not an "in network" provider for most of the plans on the exchange.
A spokesperson for Premera said only Virgina Mason Medical Center, Northwest Hospital, Evergreen Medical Center and Overlake Hospital in the Seattle area were considered "in network" for their plans on the exchange. But other hospitals that provide "unique services" would be covered as an "in network" provider for that particular service they provide.