Insurers started limiting their customers' choice of providers long before the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, steering patients to preferred doctors and hospitals through restrictive HMOs or more inclusive -- and popular -- PPOs. But aside from the occasional high-profile dust-up, insurers hesitated to exclude providers from their networks when costs went up. Instead, they just passed on the increases to their customers in the form of higher premiums.
Tim Teebken / For The Times
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