Flash Staff Report
ERATH COUNTY (December 30, 2016) – Despite weeks of uncertainty, local patients and subscribers of Blue Cross Blue Shield if Texas (BCBSTX) are breathing easier.
Late Thursday, Texas Health Resources announced that the dispute between its hospital and physician network – the largest in the region – and the state’s largest health insurance provider ended in an 11th hour deal.
The last-minute agreement is not a first. Similar situations in the past, including a 2010 dispute, also ended favorably.
Had a new agreement not been met, an estimated 150,000 patients would have been out of network Saturday. Instead, all Texas Health Resources facilities and physicians will remain in the BCBSTX network of providers.
Officials with Texas Health Resources said the agreement will keep Texas Health Resources in the HMO Blue Texas (Blue Essentials), Blue Choice PPO (BCA), Blue Advantage HMO (BAV) and Blue Cross Medicare Advantage PPO networks with no disruption in service.
The news also offers relief to a number of North Texans who obtained health insurance coverage for 2017 from the federal government’s Health Insurance Marketplace, healthcare.gov. The Affordable Care Acts requires insurance coverage, and BCBSTX is the only carrier that is available in all of the state of Texas 254 counties – the only option for many patients who receive care from Texas Health Resources.
Open enrollment at healthcare.gov ends January 31. Individuals who have not yet registered for coverage are encouraged to do so to avoid costly penalties.
For information about exemptions, tax credits and finding the best plan, contact the certified marketplace navigators on staff with Pecan Valley Centers. Assistance is available at no cost for residents in Erath, Hood, Johnson, Palo Pinto, Parker and Somervell counties. Call 817-579-4478, 817-579-4472 or 817-579-4479 to set an appointment.
About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system, which along with UT Southwestern founded Southwestern Health Resources in 2016 to make it easier for North Texans to access the highest quality care consistently in a responsive and coordinated manner, includes 29 hospital locations that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Huguley Hospitals, Texas Health Physicians Group, outpatient facilities, behavioral health and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and education. For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit www.TexasHealth.org.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) – the only statewide, customer-owned health insurer in Texas – is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, working with nearly 80,000 physicians and healthcare practitioners, and 500 hospitals to serve more than 5 million members in all 254 counties. BCBSTX is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) (which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Texas, Illinois, Montana, Oklahoma and New Mexico), the country’s largest customer-owned health insurer, and fourth largest health insurer overall. Health Care Service Corporation is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.