MAG encouraging Georgians to act on BCBS ER policy

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The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is encouraging Georgians who have a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBS) policy that they purchased through the federal ‘HealthCare’ exchange to research how the insurer’s policy not to cover non-emergency care that a patient elects to receive in an emergency room (ER) following a retrospective review will affect them and their family members.  

BCBS has failed to provide written answers to MAG’s questions about the data that it used as the basis for its new ER policy, which will go into effect on July 1 and which will leave affected Georgians facing significantly higher bills. BCBS has also refused to release the diagnostic codes (i.e., which are used to identify diseases, disorders, symptoms, etc. for billing and claims purposes) that will no longer be covered under its new policy. It is also unclear whether BCBS will expand this policy to other health insurance plans in the state. 

MAG is encouraging affected Georgians to… 

– Contact BCBS at the ‘member services’ telephone number that is located on their ID card or log into their BCBS member account at bcbsga.com to confirm what services will or will not be covered under their policy and how much money they will owe if BCBS determines that the care they receive is not deemed an emergency.

– Schedule an annual wellness visit with a primary care physician to minimize the chance that they will need non-emergency care in an ER.

– Contact Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens’ office at 404.656.2070 or 800.656.2298 or click here to share their concerns or to file a complaint that is related to the new BCBS ER policy. (Note that an online account must be created to submit an email).   

– Email their concerns and complaints related to the BCBS ER policy to MAG at workercomp@mag.org

Click for MAG’s fact sheet on the BCBS ER policy