Idaho insurers up financial stakes for out-of-network care

Some insurers selling plans on Idaho's ACA exchange significantly raised beneficiaries' out-of-network deductibles, meaning some patients could receive much larger medical bills for out-of-network services, reports Idaho Statesman.

Blue Cross of Idaho raised out-of-network deductibles for individual plans from $4,000 to $50,000 for 2017. It raised out-of-pocket responsibility for out-of-network claims from $10,000 to $75,000 next year. BridgeSpan and SelectHealth raised members' out-of-pocket responsibility for out-of-network claims to $200,000.

The changes are in line with national insurance trends. Nearly 50 percent of silver plans offered on ACA exchanges in 2016 required patients to cover unlimited out-of-network costs, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Idaho's top insurance regulator called the network changes concerning.

"It's become extremely important that consumers look very carefully at their plan — first to determine if their provider of choice is in-network, and if he or she is not, they should consider whether or not they should change plans," state Department of Insurance Director Dean Cameron told Idaho Statesman. "And they should look very carefully at what that might mean to them financially."

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