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Association of American Physicians and Surgeons Warns Patients to Beware of 'ObamaCare' Exchanges

TUCSON, Ariz., Nov. 19, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) issued the following statement regarding enrollment in health plans on the Exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act (ACA or "ObamaCare"):

"The Exchanges destroy privacy. Once entered, your information becomes available to a myriad of government agencies. And there is no taking it back. Moreover, the Exchanges are susceptible to hacking by identity thieves and other criminals. Some sites posing as Exchange sites may not be ACA sites at all, just fronts for criminal operations.

"Navigators and Assisters are not necessarily trustworthy. They have minimal training, and do not need to undergo a criminal background check. Agencies that employ them may previously have been found guilty of fraud.

"People who do manage to sign up for a plan also need to be wary about the plan itself. If the Exchange miscalculated your subsidy, you could receive a demand from the IRS to pay it back even though the insurer received it and you didn't.

"The doctor or hospital of your choice may not be available under the plan. Networks may be very narrow.

"Even though premiums may be much higher than what you have been paying, deductibles may also be much higher. The copayment may be even higher than stated; a 20% copay may be an average, and the copay for a particular service could be much greater.

"Many people may decide that the cost is so high that they would be better off putting the premium in the bank and paying out of pocket if and when they need care. Sometimes the cash price without insurance may be less than a person would pay with insurance. Some hospitals will quote a package price paid in advance for elective procedures.

"Members of Christian health-sharing ministries are exempt from the Obama penalty/tax. But for those subject to the tax, the liability can be imposed by the IRS by withholding refunds. Some have suggested that people avoid over-withholding and that they designate the purpose of estimated tax payments to be clear that they should not be re-allocated by the IRS towards any ObamaCare liability.

"Before surrendering their privacy to buy a plan through the Exchange, people should explore other options for financing care. Delay may bring better choices."

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, founded in 1943 to preserve private medicine and the patient-physician relationship.

CONTACT: Jane M. Orient, M.D. (520) 323-3110 janeorientmd@gmail.comSource:Association of American Physicians & Surgeons