‘I can’t imagine going anywhere else:’ Expectant mother on simmering insurance negotiations

'I can’t imagine going anywhere else:'  Expectant mother on simmering insurance negotiations

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – Some women in the Hampton Roads area are concerned that they will no longer be able to see their OBGYN physicians due to insurance issues.

On Wednesday, an e-mail was sent to patients under Mid-Atlantic Women’s Care who have insurance with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield.

The situation affects multiple medical groups, but in a letter sent by The Group for Women, it read:

“We want to alert you that the Mid-Atlantic Women’s Care contract with Anthem BCBS is set to terminate on August 1, 2023. We are continuing our negotiations with Anthem BCBS and are hopeful that we will reach a resolution prior to this date.”

 It also encouraged patients to contact Anthem BCBS and let them know they’d like to see their provider stay in-network with Mid-Atlantic Women’s Care.

Lauren Jones says her OBGYN at TotalCare for Women in Chesapeake has been there for her through multiple medical challenges.

“I’m going to be almost six months pregnant by that time. You know, I don’t want to go find anybody else,” Jones said. “I’m so comfortable with this practice. Like I said, I’ve been with them for almost 20 years since I was 18 years old.”

The notification also said:

“If you are currently pregnant, undergoing a course of treatment, or have a procedure scheduled, you should still be able to obtain care in our office as an in-network provider until your delivery, post-partum care is completed. If you are undergoing another course of treatment or surgery, you may also continue to see us as an in-network provider until your treatment, surgery and/or post-op visits are completed.”

Jones said that didn’t make her feel confident.

“I’m like, ‘should?’ that’s not necessarily ‘You will,’ you know? So, it was definitely a stressful moment,” Jones commented, adding, “I can’t afford thousands of dollars out of pocket to pay for my delivery and all the post-partum care and things like that.”

Caitlin Donovan, the senior director for the said in this type of scenario, patients have quite a few rights under the .

“There’s a provision in there called the Continuity of Care provision. Under that provision, specifically, if you’re pregnant, you have 90 days with your provider or until your care is complete, whichever one is earlier, to stay at the in-network rate while you’re looking for a new provider,” Donovan stated.

Again, the medical provider says they have until August 1 to come to an agreement with the insurance company.

News 3 is reaching out to the companies but so far, has not received any comment.

Donovan added a piece of advice for expecting moms.

“Try not to stress about it. Pregnancy can be a very stressful time. Provider choice should not be stressful,” Donovan said. “It’s a shame this is happening to them.

News 3 will update this story as we receive more information.

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