Tennessee's biggest health insurer and Chattanooga's biggest hospital have finalized a 5-year agreement that officials said will ensure affordable, high-quality hospital services for some of the biggest health insurance plans in Chattanooga.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and the Erlanger Health System announced Friday they have finalized an agreement to keep Erlanger in the network of the Blue Networks P and S, which covers 165,000 persons in the Chattanooga area, through 2023.
In addition, Erlanger has entered into a new arrangement, effective Dec. 1, to provide in-network care for patients enrolled in the insurer's BlueCare Plus program, which serves individuals with complex needs who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid benefits. The BlueCare Plus plan covers more than 1,500 individuals in Southeast Tennessee and is expected to grow in future years.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, more than 23,000 people in the greater Chattanooga area are eligible for the program.
Erlanger previously was not in the BlueCare Plus network.
"This new agreement ensures our members will continue to have in-network access to Erlanger services," Scott Pierce, executive vice president and chief operating officer of BlueCross, said in an announcement of the new pact. "And we're pleased it will provide our BlueCare Plus members more choices for quality health care, close to home."
Erlanger President Kevin M. Spiegel said the new agreement with BlueCross "serves as an opportunity to provide high-quality, cost-effective care for all patients throughout our region."
Erlanger also participates in the BlueAdvantage, BlueCare, TennCare Select, and CoverKids programs.