280,000 people may be affected by contract dispute between Blue Shield and Sutter Health
A contract dispute in California may create some turbulence for health insurance consumers in the state. The dispute is between Blue Shield of California, one of the state’s largest health insurance providers, and the Sutter Health network of medical professionals and hospitals. The dispute may have an impact on some 280,000 consumers in Northern and Central California, forcing these people to find new doctors and hospitals that they can use with their insurance coverage.
Consumers may be forced to find new doctors and hospitals
Last week, Blue Shield informed some 139,000 consumers about the issue, suggesting that they prepare to find new doctors and hospitals that are not part of the Sutter Health network. An additional 140,000 consumers have been warned of the contract dispute and how it may potentially affect them. Because of the contract dispute, policyholders may not be able to continue visiting the doctors that they had been visiting for years.
Blue Shield claims that it cannot continue managing the financial burden imposed by Sutter Health
The contract dispute began when the original contract between Sutter Health and Blue Shield expired on December 31, 2014. According to Sutter Health, the insurance company is demanding that substantial cuts in reimbursement be made, which could have a major impact on the financial standing of hospitals and the medical professionals that are associated with the network. According to Blue Shield, Sutter Health charges as much as 30% more for its services than other providers. The health insurance company suggests that it cannot continue dealing with that financial burden.
Consumers may be unhappy to be forced to find new doctors
There is no information concerning whether or not the contract dispute will be resolved in the near future. Many consumers that are expected to be affected by the dispute have expressed their concerns regarding being forced to find new doctors. Those with favored doctors tend to be very loyal to those medical professionals and believe that they should not be forced to abandon their favorite doctors because of a dispute between two large businesses.