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Why is Sutter Health running misleading ads?

Original post made by Michele on Nov 22, 2013

I've seen this ad twice now - both in the Mercury News and in the Palo Alto Weekly (page 25, Nov. 22 edition) It says "Finding the Right Doctor Shouldn't Be a Pain." "Make sure you choose a health plan that gives you access to Palo Alto Medical Foundation doctors."

This ad is galling because Sutter Health cancelled the Medicare Advantage plans being used at Palo Alto Medical Foundation. When the seniors (who struggle with this whole issue anyway) try to enroll in a plan that lets them see their doctor at PAMF, they are told, "We can't tell you which plan to choose because Sutter Health is negotiating which plan will be used at Palo Alto Medical Foundation."

So many seniors who go to Palo Alto Medical Foundation are left in limbo.

Nice going, Sutter Health and Palo Alto Medical Foundation. Instead of running these stupid ads, come to some decisions.

Comments (4)

Posted by Karen, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 22, 2013 at 5:48 pm

>It says "Finding the Right Doctor Shouldn't Be a Pain." "Make sure you choose a health plan that gives you access to Palo Alto Medical Foundation doctors."

Welcome to Obamacare!


Posted by Marie, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 23, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Marie is a registered user.

Oh please. This has nothing to do with the ACA (Obamacare.)

It took a little digging, but the following website lists health plans accepted by PAMF, including Medicare supplement plans:

Web Link

They are currently in negotiations with UHC and Healthnet. This happens almost every year and eventually they come up with a deal. It gets old. I'm not sure whether the problem is more the insurance companies or PAMF. Maybe PA Online can do some investigative reporting as to why these negotiations can't get done before open enrollment. This is nothing new and nothing to do with ACA.

I recommend that anyone who wants to find out their ACA options, check

Web Link To quote from their website,

"The Health Sherpa is a free guide that makes it easier to find and sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. We only use carefully vetted, publicly available data.

The Health Sherpa is not affiliated with any lobby, trade group or government agency and has no political agenda."

It requires no personal information and is a great place to start shopping. This was put together by 3 programmers since the health exchanges opened.

Too bad the government didn't have this kind of talent to develop their website. We are blessed to have a much more talented tech workforce in the SFBay area than in DC. Maybe they should have set up there development lab here where the talent is like so many other companies, including Microsoft and even Walmart.



Posted by Karens sister Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 23, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Karen-- what is obamacare? I know that there is the affordable Care Act. Are they the same? Is that like comparing the republicans to al Qaida???


Posted by Michele, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 25, 2013 at 11:01 am

Thank you, Marie, for this helpful information. I think in my mother's case her plan was cancelled because it doesn't offer mental health care, but I am actually not sure about this. I called PAMF - they were nice but their only advice is to keep checking their website. The medicare people offer a lot of plans but don't guarantee you can keep seeing your doctor. If it is hard for me to understand, I can't imagine a senior who lives alone, can't hear, and maybe isn't too good on the computer navigating this


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