Despite recent changes to ease employees’ concerns, the State Health Benefit Plan can’t seem to escape controversy.
Medical groups told GHN this week that they’re upset about having to collect money from state employees and teachers – payments that are linked to a benefits shift earlier this year.
These provider organizations say they’re being told by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, the main insurer for the SHBP, that they must recoup money from patients in the wake of a change to a co-pay system that became effective in March.
“Providers are being told by Blue Cross that we have to remit this payment,’’ said Tyler Riddle of Albany-based MRS Homecare, a medical equipment company. “Then we have to recoup from the patient.’’
Under that scenario, Riddle said, “We’re expected to be the ‘bad guy.’’’
The largest physicians organization in the state, the Medical Association of Georgia, said Tuesday that it “believes that this recoupment effort represents an unreasonable financial and administrative hardship for medical practices.”
The State Health Benefit Plan covers 650,000 state employees, teachers, other school personnel, retirees and dependents. With those numbers, the plan’s members can be a strong political force in an election year such as this one. full story