Tim Teebken / For The Times
February 6, 2014
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.