Anthem Excludes Missouri’s BJC HealthCare From Network Again
The Blue Cross Blue Shield plan won't include the giant health system and its 12 hospitals, including Barnes Jewish and St. Louis Children's Hospital, in its 2015 provider network for exchange enrollees. Meanwhile, 350,000 Medi-Cal applicants in California still wait for coverage and Colorado's insurance rates level off.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: BJC HealthCare Once Again Not In Anthem’s Network For Individual Marketplace
BJC HealthCare, St. Louis’ largest employer, will once again be excluded from Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield’s provider network for individual health plans purchased on the online marketplace. Anthem spokeswoman Deb Wiethop said Tuesday the health system and its 12 hospitals will not be included in the carrier’s network for plans that start in 2015. “We have not been able to reach agreement with them to be in the network,” she said. The health system runs Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Christian Hospital and other hospitals in the St. Louis area (Shapiro, 9/24).
The California Health Report: Despite Progress, 350,000 Medi-Cal Applicants Still Wait For Coverage
Carlos Gutierrez of Berkeley thought his health care troubles were over when he received a letter from his county’s social service agency in May telling him he qualified for Medi-Cal. The 34-year-old single father of two had been without health insurance for months after losing his job as a trainer in car rental sales. He’d applied for health coverage through Covered California — the state’s health insurance exchange — and when the letter about Medi-Cal arrived he felt relieved. Finally, Gutierrez thought, he’d be able to take his teenage son and daughter for checkups he’d avoided because he couldn’t afford the doctor’s fees. And he’d be able to see someone about the nagging pain in his abdomen where he’d had his gall bladder removed the year before. The county letter said he’d receive follow-up information soon. But that information never came (Boyd-Barrett, 9/23).
Health News Colorado: Health Insurance Rates Leveling Off
Consumer groups are celebrating the news that overall, health insurance rates for next year seem to be holding steady with this year’s rates. On average across Colorado, the rates that regulators at the Division of Insurance approved for 2015 went up 1.18 percent. Because the costs will vary significantly by region, some people could find they’re paying more, while others may see decreases (Kerwin McCrimmon, 9/23).
Kaiser Health News: Insurance Brokers Key To Kentucky's Obamacare Success
David Combs has been a health insurance broker in this small city in central Kentucky for more than 15 years. When the Affordable Care Act became law, he read it cover to cover. Then he ‘panicked’ and sold his agency. The mainstay of his business had been selling coverage to small companies. And here was the government, stepping in and offering to sell it online instead. Initially, Combs and his fellow brokers thought they would go the way of travel agents, no longer needed in a do-it-yourself online marketplace. But he started to think about the law in a new way after he learned that brokers could still earn a commission for selling coverage through the exchange. Kentucky built its own health insurance exchange – called Kynect -- and to expand Medicaid (Gold, 9/23).