No Pay Policy for Non-Emergent ED Visits Spreading by Insurance Companies


In the March 2017 issue of the HFM magazine, Rich Daly reports that by mid-summer of 2017, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) plans are expected to stop paying for non-emergent emergency visits.  BSBS plans in Georgia on July 1, 2017 will enact the new policy. Polices in Missouri, Kentucky and New York have had the policy in place for several years.

The Healthcare Consumer should do the following:

  1. Review their current insurance policy for this provision and review any changes that have been made to the policy recently.
  2. Review your insurance plans web site to determine any changes or assistance available.
  3. Determine in your area 24-hour clinics and physicians with extended hours that are covered by your insurance that can treat non-emergency conditions.
  4. Start planning to utilize retail clinics that are covered by your insurance plan. For example….out of pocket costs for an upper respiratory condition at a retail clinic was $41 compared to $650 in an emergency room.
  5. Start planning to use your primary care physician more.


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