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To curb costs, new California health plans trim care choices

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Health plans under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act require more benefits than insurers have provided in the past. Insurers are using doctor contracts, one of the few cost variables left to work with, to keep health plans affordable. For areas with lots of doctors and lots of hospitals – some more expensive than others – it’s only natural that insurers would sign up some, but not all them, says Patrick Johnson, president of the California Association of Health Plans.