Blue Cross and Blue Shield is advising subscribers to start looking for places other than Sparrow Hospital to receive health care.
In a letter published in a newspaper on Sunday, Blue Cross says it does not appear the Blues and Sparrow will have an agreement on fees in place when the current contract expires at the end of the year.
They say Sparrow is asking for a significant increase in Blue Cross payments. Patients who get care at Sparrow after Dec. 31 will have to pay the difference between what Blue Cross pays and what Sparrow charges.
To avoid out of pocket expenses, the insurance company is suggesting patients use one of 40 other acute care facilities within 75 miles of Sparrow. It includes Ingham Regional Medical Center.