Blue Cross Blue Shield cuts Springfield Clinic out of health insurance network

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Deborah Schmidt was diagnosed with Type-1 Diabetes at four years old.

“I will have it in February of next year, I’ve had it for 59 years.” 

She was diagnosed at Springfield clinic and has gone there her whole life. She receives care from seven different doctors. 

Now she is one of an estimated 100-thousand patients who will have to choose between their health insurance provider and their healthcare provider.

“I don’t even know where I would go to look for another doctor to be honest with you. Everything I’ve ever had, and had treated for were with doctors there. And they care for me,” Schmidt said.

Starting this week, Springfield Clinic will no longer be an in-network provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois.The health insurance company terminated the contract with the clinic back in June. The two sides are pointing fingers at each other as the reason they can’t reach an agreement.

“We share in our patients’ frustration that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois removed Springfield Clinic as an in-network provide,” the clinic said in a statement. “Springfield Clinic is a significant driver of affordable healthcare in central Illinois. Our outpatient procedures and infusions cost a fraction of the price patients would pay in a hospital setting. That’s exactly why we are seeing scores of employers and thousands of patients make accommodations or switch insurance carriers to stay in-network with our providers.”

Schmidt is one of the people trying to stay with the facility. She says she can’t imagine finding a new care team.

“As soon as I can, and I’ve already started looking, I will find a different insurance company,” Schmidt said.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois says that negotiations with Springfield Clinic have not gone anywhere since the contract was terminated.

“We’ve been attempting to build a new arrangement with Springfield Clinic that would protect our member’s health care dollars while giving them access to quality providers at competitive prices,” a spokesperson for Blue Cross Blue Shield said in a statement. “We hoped the Clinic would stay in our networks. Unfortunately, given the lack of concrete, specific feedback to the comprehensive proposal we offered in June, we anticipate Springfield Clinic will go out-of-network on November 17. Our members are our top priority. We offer a network of more than 3,000 in-network doctors and health care professionals in the Central Illinois region and we are here to help transition members to in-network providers as seamlessly as possible.”

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