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WellStar and Blue Cross reach agreement for an exchange product

Consumers who sign up will have access to in-network services at WellStar's 11 hospitals and other providers in Georgia.

Susan Morse, Senior Editor

WellStar Health System has reached an agreement with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia to participate in an insurance product offered on the federal exchange.

The deal will allow WellStar patients to continue to have access to care, as over the past year numerous health insurers have left the exchanges leaving patients' preferred providers and hospitals out-of-network. 

Patients would have seen the impact on January 1, 2017.

[Also: Tenet to sell WellStar five Georgia hospitals for $300 to $500 million ]

Effective that date, all 11 WellStar hospitals and employed providers of WellStar Medical Group will participate in all Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia federal health insurance exchange products, including bronze, silver and gold "Pathways X" and "multi-state direct access" products.

Patients traditionally had only until December 15 to enroll for Jan. 1 coverage but now have through January 31 to enroll or to make changes. 

WellStar Health System is among the largest health systems in Georgia.

[Also: 1.1 million new consumers have bought coverage during open enrollment, CMS data shows]

"This news gives patients the ability to keep their WellStar physicians and providers," said Barbara Corey, senior vice president of managed care for WellStar Health System. 

Twitter: @SusanJMorse

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