BCBSAZ Back IN at Least in Pinal County

Sep 8, 2016

  1. jbage007

    jbage007 Guru

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    Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Buckles under Pressure

    Good news for folks in Pinal County. Would loved to have been a fly on the wall in THAT series of, ahem, discussions. :biggrin:

    BCBSAZ still sittin' on the bench in Maricopa though.

    All eyes on Cigna. Will they, or won't they? (leave)

    For those of you unfamiliar, Cigna has a huge infrastructure in Maricopa, tons of members in a system quite similar to Kaiser that serves employees, individuals, and MAPD members. But, they were donked this year for Medicare open enrollment (due mainly to shenanigans of their brain-child purchase of Health Spring) and now it looks as though CMS will NOT let them back in this year.

    Oh yeah? Hmm. Those guys have ultimate leverage here. Ultimate. :yes:

    Let's see how clever they are at negotiating.*

    You'd think that a Medicare FIVE STAR plan would find a way to get some kind of exemption from the dastardly deeds perpetrated by their newly acquired subsidiary thousands of miles to the east.

    *no Trump one-liners please :skeptical:
  2. Ann H

    Ann H Guru

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    Thanks for the news article Jbage007. Cigna came back and said they would stay, at an increase of 47%.

    However, they don't have a huge infrastructure here, considering the size of the city. They had 4500 IFP customers last year, and now will be the sole carrier for 127,000 on-exchange and about 120,000 off-exchange folks who will have no other carrier to choose from.

    Their clinics will serve as the PCP. That means everyone lost their PCP (including OB/GYN & Pediatrics)

    I ran a list of Primary Care Pediatricians, and there were 29 in a 50 mile radius of central Phoenix. Family Practice was 71.

    They have some in-house specialists, but can also refer to other specialists. They do use the largest hospital chain in town.
    Ann H, Sep 8, 2016
  3. Yagents

    Yagents Guru

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    Good for patients, not so great for agents as I doubt they will pay a commission next year. Only chance may be renewals if any in Pinal.

    The value of a Pinal home just went up !

    I can see those who need selection of doctors, but need to stay in Phoenix for a job, moving to Pinal (or using an address of a relative)

    Blue Cross boxed themselves in when they initially came out stating they are pulling out of Phoenix, but will offer plans in all rural counties so to not leave any AZ citizen without an option. When Pinal became a ghost town, they were the first call.

    To me, this also means that Cigna is staying in, otherwise, you would have seen a dual announcement of a re-entry into Maricopa county also.
    Yagents, Sep 8, 2016