Still no deal between Integris and Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Without it more than 150,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield members may have to find a new doctor October 24th and Integris will be out of network August 31st.
Four year old Tucker Leatherwood is one of those. He has a number of neurological conditions.
“We have a gene mutation, we have epilepsy, we’re non-verbal,” listed his mom Sierra.
Fortunately his parents were able to find a neurologist they love with Integris.
“When you have any kind of child with special needs you want somebody who obviously is great with children, who understands the parent and what they want to do,” said Sierra.
But a couple weeks ago they got a letter explaining their insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield and Integris have not been able to reach an agreement on a new contract. And without one they would have to find a new doctor for Tucker.
“I was wait, wait a second his is our neurologist, she’s in charge of Tucker’s brain health.”
Without an agreement Integris says it’s 600 doctors and other providers be out of network.
In a statement Blue Cross Blue Shield says:
"We continue to negotiate with Integris. In the meantime, it’s important to let your viewers know that while INTEGRIS Health terminated its participating provider agreement with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK), many BCBSOK health plans may have continuity of care benefits. This means that if members are currently being treated for a disability, acute condition, life-threatening illness or are pregnant, they may still be able to see their current doctor and have in-network coverage, even when the doctor or hospital leaves our networks. Benefits for continuity of care are applied based on members’ benefit plans. Members can determine whether they have continuity of care benefits by calling the number on the back of their ID cards."
Integris says they would like to sign a contract with BCBS that maintains the current deal.
"As the state's sole provider of many specialized types of care, we have a responsibility to ensure all of our patients' needs are addressed - but we must have fair and balanced contracts with insurance providers to do so."
It is important to point out that Blue Cross Blue Shield is the only insurance provider through the Affordable Care Act.
Here is Integris’s full statement:
“INTEGRIS recognizes and regrets the uncertainty and frustration our patients are subjected to as a result of our BCBSOK negotiations. As the state’s sole provider of many specialized types of care, we have a responsibility to ensure all of our patients’ needs are addressed – but we must have fair and balanced contracts with insurance providers to do so. We would like to sign a new contract with BCBSOK that maintains our current contract structure. We remain hopeful that an agreement will be reached before our current contract expires on Aug. 31.”