Blue Cross announces that coverage will be restored to consumers despite contract dispute with CHI Health
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska has announced some changes to the coverage it provides to some of those that have been affected by a contract dispute with CHI Health. Some CHI Health hospitals have been out of the Blue Cross network since September of this year due to the expiration of an agreement between the two companies. Blue Cross and CHI Health have been unable to form a new contract due to disagreements regarding the contract’s terms. While policyholders remain covered through Blue Cross, some have had to find out-of-network care as a result of the contract dispute.
Policyholders are still able to visit out-of-network CHI Health hospitals
Many of those affected by this issue will be able to use their coverage at five out-of-network CHI Health hospitals in five rural communities. Some 96,000 people are estimated to have been affected by the contract dispute, and being unable to see their preferred medical care provider has been a point of contention for some policyholders. Blue Cross wants to minimize any further disruption for its customers and will be working with CHI Health to resolve the issue.
CHI Hospitals prove to be costly
According to Blue Cross, CHI Health hospitals charge as much as 30% more for medical care than non-CHI Health hospitals. This represents a significant financial burden for Blue Cross, which must offset the financial losses it sees by raising rates on the coverage it provides. Not all of CHI Health hospitals are expensive, of course, but those in Omaha are particularly costly.
Contract dispute may be resolved at some point in the near future
There are two other large health care organizations operating in Omaha, Nebraska, but the issue primarily revolves around getting medical care to those living in smaller, more rural communities. As such, many people make use of the CHI Health hospitals they have available in these rural areas. The contract dispute between Blue Cross, the state’s largest health insurance provider, and CHI Health has been a problem for these people. CHI Health has refused to negotiate with Blue Cross concerning a new proposal the insurer had offered two months ago. No further negotiations between the two companies are currently scheduled.