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Hospital, Medical Group Sign Contract With BCBSTX For State Insurance

October 04, 2017

Despite some state employees and others receiving letters to the contrary, Wilbarger General Hospital and the Wilbarger General Medical Group have signed a contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBSTX) to serve members of the state’s HealthSelect plan, WGH Chief Executive Officer Claudia Eisenmann has announced.

The state’s HealthSelect Plan provides insurance for employees, retirees and dependents of state agencies and some higher education institutions.

“We are extremely pleased to report that we were able to work with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas for all of those who are covered by the state’s HealthSelect plan,” Eisenmann said. “Unfortunately, there has been some miscommunication from Blue Cross and Blue Shield and that is because their system hasn’t been updated with the contract effective dates.”

Last week some of those who are covered by the state’s HealthSelect plan received letters in the mail stated that Wilbarger General and the members of the WG Medical Group were not in-network, and that those receiving the letter would need to find other primary care physicians.

“We do have signed agreement with Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the members of our medical group are now in-network with the state’s HealthSelect plan,” Eisenmann said. “Whether someone received one of those letters or not, I want to assure those covered by this insurance that they can come to us for any health care services they need and that service will be provided based on the in-network fee schedule.

“We are still working on finalizing the effective date for our hospital contract, but I want to iterate that anyone with this insurance who comes to us for service, or who has come to us for service since Sept. 1, will be charged based on the in-network fee schedule,” the CEO added.

Earlier this year, the Employee Retirement System Board of Trustees selected Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas as the new administrator for the state’s HealthSelect plan. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas will be the administrator of the state’s insurance for the next six years.

The change in insurance provider, which went into effect Sept. 1, also brought about a change in insurance plans. Instead of having a Preferred Provider Organization option from UnitedHealthcare, the previous insurance provider, state employees now have a Health Maintenance Organization, or HMO, through Blue Cross Blue Shield.

While Wilbarger General and the members of the WG medical group were in-network with UnitedHealthcare, they were not in the Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO network when the decision was made by ERS to make them the new administrator for the state’s insurance.

Although the change in the state’s employee health insurance plan took effect Sept. 1, WGH and Blue Cross Blue Shield did not sign a contract until the end of September.

Residents with this insurance include employees of North Texas State Hospital, Vernon College, Texas Department of Transportation and other local State employers.