San Jose Mercury News Looks at Difficulties in Choosing an Insurer in Santa Clara County
The San Jose Mercury News today examines the challenges of selecting a health insurer in Santa Clara County. October is traditionally the month when people with health insurance decide whether to renew their coverage with their current insurer or change companies, and Santa Clara County residents are facing difficulties in making their decisions because of recent bankruptcies and contract disputes among providers, the Mercury News reports. Of the health insurance providers operating in the region, Lifeguard has shut down; Blue Cross is refusing to cover care at Columbia Good Samaritan Hospital, Regional Medical Center of San Jose and San Jose Medical Center because of contract disputes; and the San Jose Medical Group is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. Approximately 100,000 people who formerly enrolled in Lifeguard's HMO or PPO will be forced to find a new insurer, while San Jose Medical Group plans to remain open but may close some locations. Many consumers also can expect to see "shrinking" provider networks, fewer prescription drugs covered and higher out-of-pocket costs for fewer benefits, the Mercury News reports (Feder Ostrov, San Jose Mercury News, 10/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.