Dispute puts health services in west in jeopardy

Jul 13, 2017

SEANC has learned that members in the western part of the state are facing increased health care costs because of an ongoing contract dispute between Mission Health System, which operates six hospitals and other facilities in Asheville and surrounding areas, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, the state’s largest insurance provider.

BCBSNC administers the State Health Plan, so all state employees and retirees it covers will be affected by the dispute.

After six months of negotiation, Mission officials informed BCBSNC this week that it will leave the network effective Oct. 5, becoming the only system in North Carolina outside of the State Health Plan’s network. This means that plan members will be charged out-of-network rates should they need care at a Mission facility. BCBSNC will continue to provide emergency care at in-network rates.

SEANC and the State Treasurer’s Office continue to monitor the situation, and will provide information as it becomes available. In the meantime, members in the western part of the state should contact their doctors to see if they will be leaving the Blue Cross Clue Shield of North Carolina network. More information on the issue, as well as a list of possible alternative facilities and providers, can be found here.