Employees at 5 Montana hospitals demand details of their BCBS health insurance contracts

Employees across five Montana hospitals filed a federal complaint alleging they were overcharged for health insurance benefits, the Great Falls Tribune reports.

The complaint comes after employees from Billings Clinic, Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital, Missoula-based Community Medical Center, Havre-based Northern Montana Hospital and St. Peter's Health in Helena learned of a six-year agreement between the hospitals and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana.

The employees alleged the hospitals entered the six-year agreement with BCBSM at such an excessive rate, BCBSM agreed to pay $20 million back to the hospitals in exchange for the contract, according to their complaint, filed Dec. 29 in the U.S. District Court in Great Falls, Mont. The employees seek payment information to determine if they are overpaying for benefits under the agreement. The complaint also seeks information on whether the hospitals used the $20 million in BCBSM payments toward employee benefits. 

BCBSM, which declined the Great Falls Tribune's request for comment, is expected to regain the $20 million payment under the contract and then some, the complaint alleged.

Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital spokesperson Lauren Brendel told the Great Falls Tribune, "Due to the complexity of the transaction in a highly regulated industry, the federal district court and Blue Cross Blue Shield were both involved in the transaction, and we have strictly complied with the terms of that agreement. We take financial stewardship and the well-being of our employees very seriously."

St. Peter's Health spokesperson Andrea Groom told the publication, "It's our understanding that the transaction that occurred as part of this transition did not result in any financial disadvantage to the employees who participated in our medical plan."

A spokesperson from Billings Clinic said the system does not comment on pending litigation, while spokespeople from Northern Montana Hospital and Community Medical Center did not immediately respond to Great Falls Tribune's request for comment.

More articles on payer issues:
Trump administration moves to allow health insurance sales across state lines: 3 things to know 
CMS greenlights first 10-year Medicaid waiver in Mississippi 
5 payers in the headlines

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Top 40 articles from the past 6 months