What "network?"Mar 05 2013
When you live in the Bay Area, you live close to the center of the West Coast medical world. World class doctors are everywhere to be found...except in Aetna\'s so-called \"network.\" A few months ago my dermatologist recommended removal of a squamous cell growth on my hand; she gave me the option of conventional surgery or MOHS, an established procedure that has a lower rate of recurrence and less scarring. She referred me to a doctor who specialized in MOHS. Unfortunately, when I called the physician\'s office I was informed they don\'t take Aetna insurance. Checking the website\'s handy doctor locator program, I couldn\'t find anyone within 25 miles of my home, so I called the company. They had exactly two surgeons who perform MOHS covered in-network and neither had fellowship training, which is critical to me. One was 47 miles away and the other was 38 miles away from my home! More recently, I needed a breast surgeon. In Aetna\'s \"network\" just two breast surgeons take Aetna\'s insurance. If I go out of network, the company will pay just 50% of what THEY consider to be \"reasonable and customary.\" On top of that, the dollars I spend out-of-network do not count toward satisfying my deductible!