Changes coming to Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Changes coming to Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
RICHMOND HILL, GA (WTOC) -

If you have Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance - heads up. Big changes coming your way.

A few weeks ago the health insurance provider announced they were pulling out of certain counties completely in the state of Georgia. That includes Chatham County. 

Even the counties Blue Cross will stay in, are looking at drastic changes. 

These changes with Blue Cross are for individual plans only. Not group plans through employers. We met with insurance agent Bill Lucas - as he just found out that as of January 1, if you have a Point of Service plan with Blue Cross no matter where you live in Georgia, you will be losing that insurance plan as well. 

Let's take a look at how you know if you have a point of service plan. If you pull out your health insurance ID card, you should see in the top right corner P-O-S. Now that the plan is being canceled, Blue Cross customers will only be able to see doctors within the state of Georgia and their selection will be much more limited. 

"They're going to take your point of service plan and automatically map you to a HMO plan where you lose as much as 95% of your doctors," said Bill Lucas, Insurance Agent. "Not everybody will lose their doctors but everyone will lose the huge percentage of doctors that they can see. Because it will go from hundreds of thousands of doctors in all 50 states to hundreds of doctors in Georgia only."

Bill Lucas uses his clients as anonymous examples of how these changes will come into play on January 1, 2018. 

If you have a point of service health care plan, you can basically go to any doctor you want. 

"This plan is going away," said Lucas.

Meaning you won't have that freedom anymore. Lucas says you'll be forced to get a new plan. A plan where you lose as much as 95 percent of your doctors.

"It will go from hundreds of thousands of doctors in all 50 states to just hundreds of doctors in just Georgia only," said Lucas.

When it comes to your policy - how do you know what you have?

"Alright so now let's take a look at the point of service plans. Take a look at the top right-hand side of your card. And on the top right-hand side, it's going to say POS, meaning point of service," said Lucas.

So how does this affect you? Let's take a look at some ordinary people whose worlds are about to turn upside down. 

Lucas gave me examples from his clients. 

Lamar is a single 26-year-old living in Chatham County. His premiums are low. His deductible is low. But Blue Cross - is pulling out.

"Lamar is losing his plan and must physically go and get a new one on his own," said Lucas.

Jeff has a wife and two daughters in out-of state colleges.

"He's got a point of service plan today. Why? Because of freedom. He can use this in all 50 states," said Lucas.

One of the daughters has serious medical issues and visits a doctor regularly. They're losing this POS Plan.

"There's no other one from Etna, or Humana, or anyone else offering a plan that will take the place of that on an individual basis. It's out of here," said Lucas.

The plans may be leaving quickly. worried customers tell Lucas - they don't know where to go.

We want you to know that both of those situations are real life examples but their card information cannot be used. Names and numerical digits were removed for the safety of their identity.

If you're also affected by these changes, Lucas says there's no time to wait. Reach out to someone who can help you or start looking into a group plan.

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