DURHAM, N.C. – Mission Health System’s (Mission Health) decision to remove its doctors and hospitals from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina network officially takes effect today, Thursday, Oct. 5. This means all Mission Health hospitals, outpatient facilities and most physicians are now out of network for Blue Cross NC customers. Mission Health is now the only North Carolina health system that does not accept Blue Cross NC insurance. Because Mission Health’s action creates an uncertain and unsettling environment for families and businesses in Western North Carolina, Blue Cross NC is taking steps to support customers during the transition.
“Even though Mission Health is no longer accepting Blue Cross NC insurance, our customers still have hundreds of options for in-network care,” said Brad Wilson, CEO of Blue Cross NC. “That’s important. While Mission is walking away, other providers are proactively working with us to make sure our customers get the care they need.”
Blue Cross NC customers can visit bcbsnc.com/findadoctor to locate in-network doctors and hospitals in their area. In Western North Carolina, this includes:
- 10 Hospitals
- 95+ Maternity Providers
- 160+ Family Care Providers
- 65+ Pediatric Providers
- 120+ Urgent Care Providers
- 70+ Orthopedic Providers
- 5 Ambulatory Surgical Centers
- 35+ Radiation/Imaging Facilities
“We’ve been committed to Western North Carolina for over 80 years, and that commitment continues today,” Wilson said. “When our customers need us, we’ll be there for them, just as we have always been.”
What the Change Means for Customers
Most Blue Cross NC plans allow customers to receive covered services from out-of-network providers. However, customers typically must pay higher out-of-pocket costs for out-of-network care.
- In case of an emergency, Blue Cross NC customers should go to the nearest hospital, including Mission Health’s emergency rooms. Emergency care is always covered as an in-network benefit. Prior authorization is never required for emergency care.
- Customers who are pregnant or have a chronic medical condition may qualify for Blue Cross NC’s Continuity of Care program. Customers who have questions about the Continuity of Care program should call the number on the back of their membership ID cards. Blue Cross NC has already approved hundreds of customers for Continuity of Care. This enables them to continue getting in-network coverage through their Mission Health doctors and facilities.
- Any other services at a Mission Health facility performed on or after Oct. 5 will be considered out-of-network. If a customer is admitted to a Mission Health hospital before Oct. 5 and discharged after Oct. 5, this will be processed as in-network.
Blue Cross NC customers in the Western NC area seeking local, in-network care can use the following resources:
- To find the closest in-network hospitals and doctors, use our interactive map of provider locations.
- To find an in-network provider, customers can also use our Find a Doctor tool.
- To talk to a Blue Cross NC Customer Service Professional in-person, visit the Blue Cross NC retail store in Asheville at 1854 Hendersonville Rd., Suite C.
- Call the 1-800 number on the back of their ID card.
- Customers can also consider urgent, non-emergency care at in-network, urgent care locations. Blue Cross NC customers can find urgent care and primary care options in Buncombe and surrounding counties by visiting bcbsnc.com.
Information about alternative facilities and transition of care is available online at www.bcbsnc.com/wnc. Blue Cross NC customers can contact the customer service number on their member ID cards for assistance or for more details about the Continuity of Care program.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina improves the health and well-being of our customers and communities by providing innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.89 million members, including approximately 1 million served on behalf of other Blue Plans. Since 1933, we have worked to make North Carolina a better place to live through our support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. We have been recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute multiple times since 2012. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit Blue Cross NC online at bcbsnc.com. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.