Talk about being a Grinch! On January 1st, more than 4 million federal employees — half of the government workforce — are having their benefits cut by Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS).
That’s right, BCBS has drastically altered a plan that millions of federal employees and their families rely upon for their healthcare coverage — and hasn’t bothered to notify anyone. Federal employees have only until December 8th to either switch their insurance plan or face the consequences.
These changes affect all Federal Blue Cross Blue Shield Standard Option plan holders nationwide.
For those affected by these changes, in addition to a 13% increase in premiums, out-of-network benefits for federal employees will be severely curtailed, affecting both emergency and surgical services. The policy change increases a patient’s out-of-pocket cost up to $7,500.00 for each procedure or surgery when using an out-of-network provider, and it imposes up to a $350.00 out-of-pocket cost for care provided by an out-of-network emergency room doctor.
Can you imagine patients trying to find out if their ER doctor or consulting surgical specialist is in-network or out-of-network when they’re having a broken leg set? Patients have the alternative of switching to an in-network doctor and keeping their previous benefits, but then their PPO with higher premiums is really just an HMO in disguise.
On top of that, the Office of Personnel Management describes the changes on page 10 of a 137-page document — burying the bad newsDespite OPM’s assurances that this benefit cut is actually good news, real patients, doctors and health care providers are upset with Blue Cross Blue Shield and want to take action.
To speak with an affected patient or doctor, please contact: Jason Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (202) 296-0263 x 136; or contact Gary Meltz at email@example.com, or (202) 296-0263 x 166
SOURCE DC Patients, Doctors and Healthcare Providers