“I was relieved and excited,” UMMC patients covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield after coverage agreements are made

Published: Dec. 19, 2022 at 7:08 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - There were sighs of relief for thousands covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield who receive care at the University of Mississippi Medical Center after the two groups finally agreed on coverage.

“It’s just a sense of relief because I still trusted them, even though I couldn’t see them. But now I get to see them, and they get to see how I actually feel,” Erin Wilson said.

Back in April, 17-year-old Erin Wilson became just one of the many patients who had to make tough decisions regarding their well-being and the cost of care when Blue Cross Blue Shield dropped UMMC from its list of covered medical facilities.

After being diagnosed with Graves Disease back in 2018, Erin was seeing specialists at UMMC. However, once that agreement between the two groups suddenly ended, her mother said they were stuck.

“Erin did have a crisis during that time. We were having to consider even having Aaron sent to the Mayo Clinic because her numbers were critically high. So it was a very anxious time period for us not being able to go in and to see her team of specialists to make sure that everything goes well with her,” Dr. Vernita Wilson said.

Wilson said they had to get creative to see specialists, including seeing her doctor at a neighboring hospital for check-ups.

“I feel that it really shouldn’t have happened because people’s lives are on the line, and people did probably die. So, it would be better if it didn’t happen because we could save more lives,” Erin explained.

Now that the hospital and insurance group are in agreement, Wilson said she’s hopeful communication will be more common before major decisions are made once again.

“I am cautiously optimistic that they will do the right thing for Mississippians across the board who have this insurance. But as you say it, it does make you a little bit worried that they may do the same thing again,” Wilson said. “We’re looking forward to seeing our doctors and specialists again, making sure that we can retain those close relationships that we had established with each of them.”

In a letter to patients, UMMC said, “For care received while UMMC was out of the Blue Cross network beginning April 1, 2022, your claim will be submitted to Blue Cross for processing.”

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