One of the many topic of discussion with health care reform and the big changing of the plans effective January 1, 2014 is whether or not you should keep your 'grandfathered' plan or switch to a new 'Affordable Care Act compliant' one. Many will argue that the older plans will be going up in price, you don't have the expanded preventive care benefits that the 'new world' plans will have so of course you should change.
To be honest, everything will be going up January 1. But what is not being discussed is, as I've mentioned in prior articles, being able to still use the same doctors and hospitals. Many carriers are creating new networks to keep their costs down and this means not having the variety of hospitals and doctors you are used to, even in a PPO plan.
So, while it was important before, it's even more important to check doctors and hospitals. If you keep your grandfathered plan, you keep your old 'full' network generally. And if you give up a grandfathered plan, you cannot get it back, so choose wisely. Your local independent agent will be a good source of information on this. So much for 'if you like your plan, you can keep it'--only if you bought it before March 23, 2010.