It is the time of year for individuals to update, renew and sign up for health benefits for next year. Also, the New York State Conference of Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans has released an infographic that encourages people to learn as much as they can about their plans.
Todd Muscatello, Vice President of Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, says Central New Yorkers should review their plans in order to make sure their providers still participate in their insurance network.
“It can be very expensive, it can be very damaging to a person’s financial well-being if they end up going to a physician and having, especially, an expensive procedure done and they are not a participating provider. They end up paying that out of pocket,” Muscatello said Thursday.
Excellus estimates it could cost $11,000 more for a knee replacement if a patient uses an out-of-network healthcare provider. Other procedures, such as a Cesarean section, could cost as much as $3,000 dollars more if the patient’s provider is not in the network.
Muscatello says even if people do not change their plan, their doctors still may not be part of their coverage as networks change from year to year, so they are advised to learn as much about their existing plan as possible. 70% of employers renew their healthcare plans by January 1st.