Blue Cross Blue Shield offers new plan for less

Blue Cross Blue Shield offers new plan for less (Image 1)

Dozens of individual insurance plans now available through the federal insurance exchange is leading to questions of quality, cost and care options.

In Tennessee, Blue Cross Blue Shield is offering new and less expensive plans on something called Network E.

News 2 looked into how the insurance company is able to offer a plan that's up to 24% less than some of it's other plans.

Network E is categorized as a “narrow” network. That means you would see care providers in one network only.

In the Nashville region, that provider is MissionPoint, a subsidiary of St. Thomas Health.

MissionPoint is defined as an Accountable Care Organization, a new way of delivering health care under the Affordable Care Act.

MissionPoint accepts a set payment for a set patient population and provides comprehensive care, everything from hospital admissions to home visits.

If quality and outcomes improve, they share in the savings, one reason why premiums on Network E are lower.

MissionPoint CEO Jason Dinger said, “We can provide a really competitive premium because we're doing all of these services.”

The new offering of Network E on the federal insurance marketplace may be why you have seen a new branding campaign from St. Thomas, which stands to benefit from higher patient volume.

New signs around town show hospitals like Baptist, which have been in the St. Thomas network for years, are now formally under the St. Thomas heading.

Alex Tolbert, CEO of Bernard Health, says the timing is important.

“The last thing St. Thomas would have wanted is for people to go look at different plan and not do Network E because they like Baptist not realizing they are the same thing.”

So how much does Network E cost? Blue Cross Blue Shield tells us a Silver level plan with a $2,000 deductible will cost a 27 year old non-smoker $148.31 per month.

The same plan on Network S costs $174.48 and $195.30 per month on Network P.

Network P is the broadest and not available in the marketplace.

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