Providence-Premera Update 9/20
Premera Blue Cross and Providence Health & Services have agreed in principle on a new 3-year contract. The agreement ensures that Providence Health & Services will remain a part of Premera's Heritage Plus network of providers. Premera customers using the Heritage Plus network will continue to receive care and services, without interruption, at all Providence, Swedish, Kadlec hospitals and physician groups, including Pacific Medical Group across Washington state. A formal agreement is expected to be signed by the end of September.
It is our understanding that negotiations are continuing relative to the smaller Prime network, which is used by the WEA Select Basic Plan, as well as EasyChoice B. The Providence facilities/providers are excluded from this network, except in certain areas where there are no other provider options.
We are hopeful that a deal will be completed relative to Providence facilities/providers participating in the Prime network in those impacted areas.
In the event that they are not successful, the WEA Select Medical Plan has a special provision which allows participants to receive in-network benefits for up to 90 days in the event of a significant provider termination. Since the current Premera and Providence contract doesn't expire until Dec. 31, 2016, that means the in-network benefits would apply through March 31, 2017.
Should it become necessary beyond that date, we will work with Premera to make sure that impacted employees are taken care of, up to and including a special open enrollment to change to another WEA plan, if needed.