2016 Legislative Update
What is Initiated Measure 17?
Initiated Measure 17 - Patient Choice - makes it more likely that you can see the doctor of your choice without having to pay high out-of-network expenses. Patient choice allows your doctor into closed networks if he or she agrees to the terms of the insurance. So if your insurance changes, you don’t need to worry that your quality of health care will change too.
Why is this needed?
Currently, if an employer decides to switch insurance companies, it can force patients to leave the doctor with whom they’ve developed a relationship and who understands their unique medical history. That… or they can pay high out-of-pocket costs to stay with their preferred out-of-network physician.
I’ve heard this will raise costs?
There is absolutely no evidence to support such claims. Many states have passed similar legislation and there is no evidence of costs going up. And here in SD we passed similar legislation in 1990 regarding pharmacies and have seen no increase in costs there.
Who is sponsoring this?
Physicians from around the state who are concerned that patients aren’t getting the best care when they’re forced to choose between a doctor with whom they have a history and a doctor that’s in the network of their new insurance plans.
How will this fit into “Obamacare?”
It means  that the insurance companies enrolled in the “exchange” will have a larger array of providers included in their networks which means more choice for you.
Does this impact Medicaid?
It does not. Medicaid takes all providers and doesn’t exclude anyone that wants to be on their provider list.
Does “Patient Choice” affect ERISA-based self-insured plans?
No. Initiated Measure 17 only affects traditional insurance programs.