If you are someone who lives with a chronic illness or disability, it’s likely you’ve visited the emergency room for issues related to your condition. Trips to the ER are usually designated for the worst flare-ups or ones that occur in the middle of the night when your doctor is unavailable — but what constitutes an emergency and whose job is it to decide?
If you have Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield and live in Georgia, Missouri, or Kentucky, a new insurance policy might affect your decision to visit the ER. According to NBC News, starting July 1, Anthem members will be responsible for the cost of their ER visit if the trip was not an emergency.
“Save the ER for emergencies — or cover the cost,” a letter sent to Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Georgia members, obtained by NBC News, states. “[S]tarting July 1, 2017, you’ll be responsible for ER costs when it’s NOT an emergency. That way, we can all help make sure the ER’s available for people who really are having emergencies.”
In its letter, Anthem defines an emergency as: