Many patients who receive dialysis, neonatal or pediatric intensive care or need cancer services or assistance with complicated pregnancies may get help from Blue Cross Blue Shield and Sparrow Hospital after Dec. 31.
For certain patients, the two groups have agreed to keep insurance coverage and charges for medical bills the same for at least 90 days regardless of whether Sparrow and Blue Cross Blue Shield reach a contract agreement by Dec. 31.
According to the most recent agreement, patients will continue paying the same amount they currently pay for medical services if they fall into one of the above categories. They will also receive the same coverage they receive from Blue Cross Blue Shield for the services they receive.
Officials said patients should check with their employer to determine if their employer is cooperating with the insurance company in this most recent agreement.
Meanwhile, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Sparrow Hospital officials have indicated they want more time for negotiations. Sparrow Hospital has proposed that the contract be extended for 60-90 days. They said during that extension period, they would like Blue Cross Blue Shield to reimburse the hospital for medical services at a rate 9.4 percent higher than what they currently pay.
Blue Cross Blue Shield officials said they are not willing to pay that higher amount, but they are interested in extending the current contract they have with the hospital.