New BCBS of Massachusetts Plan Increases Co-Pays for 15 "High-Cost" Hospitals

A new coverage option launched by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts will encourage consumers to avoid 15 high-cost hospitals by increasing co-payments for services at these facilities dramatically, according to a Patriot Ledger report.

Beginning Jan. 1, businesses that select the Hospital Choice Cost Sharing Plan will experience a premium increase of 4.5 percent, compared to a premium increase of nearly 10 percent without the switch.  

In exchange for the reduced premium rate, consumers under the plan will see dramatic increases in co-payments if they visit 15 specific hospitals, which Blue Cross has identified as higher-cost institutions. Discrepancies in co-pays vary from an extra $35 for an outpatient lab test to an extra $1,000 for inpatient care or an outpatient surgical procedure, according to the report.

The high-cost list includes the following hospitals in Massachusetts, according to BCBS of Massachusetts:

Baystate Medical Center (Springfield)
Berkshire Medical Center (Pittsfield)
Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Boston)
Cape Cod Hospital (Hyannis)
Caritas St. Anne’s Hospital (Fall River)
Children’s Hospital Medical Center (Boston)
Cooley Dickinson Hospital (Northampton)
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Boston)
Fairview Hospital (Great Barrington)
Harrington Memorial Hospital (Southbridge)
Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston)
North Shore Medical Center — Salem Campus (Salem)
North Shore Medical Center — Union Campus (Lynn)
South Shore Hospital (South Weymouth)
Sturdy Memorial Hospital (Attleboro)
UMass Memorial Medical Center — Memorial Campus (Worcester)
UMass Memorial Medical Center — University Campus (Worcester)

Read the Patriot Ledger report on Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts’ new Hospital Choice plan.

Read more on hospitals and health insurance:

-Massachusetts Healthcare CEOs to Providers, Insurers: Time to Live With Less

-Michigan Blue Cross Defends Demand For Hospitals' Lowest Price

-California Fines Largest Insurers for Underpayments to Hospitals, Physicians

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