BlueCross BlueShield Contract Expiration with Piedmont Healthcare
If you are a member of IATSE Local 479 and participate in any of the National Benefits Fund Plan C Health Insurance Plans, then you are a BlueCross BlueShield customer, and you should read the following message very carefully:
At midnight on March 31, the contract between BlueCross BlueShield and Piedmont Healthcare officially expired.
Contracts expiring between health insurance providers and health care facilities are routine, and in most cases it is expected that an agreement will be reached before the expiration date. This time, however, an agreement was not reached, and those of us with BlueCross BlueShield health insurance are now going to be considered OUT OF NETWORK at all Piedmont Healthcare facilities. Piedmont emphasizes that while it will still be able to treat patients who have BlueCross BlueShield insurance plans, there will be a HIGHER, OUT-OF-NETWORK COST to those patients. For those individuals who have been going to individual physicians associated with Piedmont Healthcare, or currently have an appointment scheduled with a Piedmont Healthcare facility; these, too, will be subject to HIGHER, OUT-OF-NETWORK COSTS. If you can postpone your appointment, you should until this matter is further resolved.
Both parties point out that if customers who are currently under treatment have certain procedures or conditions — including active course of treatment for any form of cancer, undergoing transplant care or waiting for a transplant, being treated for a terminal illness, pregnancy, completing a course of treatment or being treated for a serious medical or behavioral medical condition — they MAY QUALIFY FOR CONTINUATION OF CARE, which would allow them to continue treatment through Piedmont Healthcare facilities as if they were still in-network facilities without interruption.
Piedmont Hospitals says that will continue to work with BlueCross BlueShield toward a resolution. In the meantime, BlueCross BlueShield is taking steps to help ensure that their consumers have uninterrupted access to affordable healthcare across their broad network of providers in Georgia.
BCBS customers with questions about this network provider change are encouraged to call 1-800-553-9603, the toll-free member services number on the BlueCross and BlueShield ID card, or visit empireblue.com to view a list of providers in their area. Importantly, please remember that emergency care is always a covered benefit — anyone with a medical emergency should always call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.