Are pirates among us?


The ACA navigators are supposed to steer us to the right health plan. I hope these navigators don’t turn into pirates.

When I was a primary care doctor in Miami in the 1980’s and 1990’s, healthcare organizations were competing for the Medicare patients and enrolling them with primary care facilities.

Patient brokers who were selling groups of patients to the highest bidder. Some of these brokers would get a per capita kickback plus their legitimate sales commission to sign the patients up with one doctor or clinic, and then they would sell their enrollments to another clinic six months later and get another set of fees.

The patients would, therefore, have their primary doctor changed without their knowledge, sometimes in the midst of treatment for a serious illness. I can see this happening with these companies competing for the newly insured. These new navigators need to be watched to distinguish them from pirates.

Ira Jacobson, Coral Gables

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