Is it even legal for the doctor to refuse care to someone with a valid insurance policy just because their old policy also shows as being active?
Question Details: My father has a primary care doctor he's been seeing for about a year who recently refused to see him on the day of his scheduled appointment. The reason given was that my father has a new insurance carrier, I don't recall which one, but that his carrier from last year shows him as still being enrolled. My parents are struggling to get through to the old insurer on the phone to resolve this but I'm uncertain as to why the doctor can't just bill the new carrier regardless.
This is legal:
1) As a general rule, doctors are not forced to take or keep patients, or to provide care, if they don't want to--doctors are not public servants, they are essentially each their own business, and just like a given accountant or plumber could refuse a job or a customer, so can a doctor.
2) If the doctor isn't set up to take or doesn't have a contract with the new insurer, they might be paid less, might have to spend more staff time (i.e. money) to get paid, or might have difficulty getting paid at all. The doctor is not required to take on those risks or costs.