Patients who have insurance with Anthem will now have more options on where they receive health care in Springfield.
It’s commonly known in the Springfield area that depending on your insurance company, you could only go to Mercy or Cox. But that is slowly changing.
United recently announced its policyholders can choose between the two health systems. And now, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield has done the same.
“Patients are going to have more choice,” said Dr. Alan Scarrow, president of Mercy Springfield.
Starting January 1, 2018, about 40,000 Anthem policyholders will also have Mercy as an option.
“Overtime the market changes and we hear different demands from people, from the employer community and also from patients that are in Springfield,” said Dr. Jay Moore, senior clinical director for Anthem in Missouri.
Anthem will add Mercy as an in-network provider for its Blue Access, Pathway, and Medicare plans in Springfield and Joplin.
“We are opening up that network so people will have a choice to go to either system, either Cox or Mercy,” said Dr. Moore.
“We know that is a critical factor,” said Dr. Scarrow. “People want better access, they want more convenience and they want it at a fair and reasonable price.”
A big benefit, Dr. Scarrow says is keeping patients in town when they need pediatric specialty care.
“Pediatric oncology, orthopedics, neurosurgery, pulmonology, neurology, all of those things that maybe people would have traveled for,” he said. “Now they can stay here.”
Another type of coverage available starting in 2018 will be the Anthem Alliance, a closed network plan between Anthem and Mercy to employers with 51 or more employees. Dr. Moore says this plan helps keep costs down and cuts back on the bureaucracy of insurance coverage.
“I think that is very innovative,” he said. “It’s really the doctor that’s taking care of you that is really making the decision on whether or not something gets covered.”
Anthem’s Pathway plan will be available on the Marketplace and will also be accepted at Mercy starting next year.
Last month, the carrier Centene announced it will be joining the Marketplace in Missouri in 40 counties, among them Greene and Christian counties. Centene plans will be in network with Mercy. View article here
By: Jenifer Abreu