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Deal announces state’s next step in Blue Cross Blue Shield, Piedmont Healthcare dispute

Governor Deal

Gov. Nathan Deal today directed Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia and Piedmont Healthcare to return to the negotiating table on behalf of the nearly 600,000 employees, retirees and their families affected by the recent contract disruption. Deal also announced the state and the University System of Georgia will absorb out-of-network claims for affected employees for up to 30 days in order to minimize patients’ financial burdens.
“My administration will not sit idly by during this contract dispute and leave our state and university system employees, teachers and their families in the balance,” said Deal. “My top priority is the well-being of our members. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia and
Piedmont Healthcare must return to the negotiating table, and Blue Cross Blue Shield must honor the contractual obligations made to the state. If an equitable solution is not reached, I’ve directed the Department of Community Health and the State Health Benefit Plan to explore all possible solutions to ensure our members have access to care. The university system stands ready to take similar action on behalf of its employees. This step is necessary in order to protect our citizens from unanticipated costs and interruption to care.”
“We want to make sure University System of Georgia families have access to the care they need and this 30-day extension is a necessary step to provide coverage for our employees,” said University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley. “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia and Piedmont Healthcare must come to a quick resolution to this contract dispute so additional costs are not incurred by employees of the University System of Georgia and the state. We will continue to explore all options to ensure employees and their families have continued access to the healthcare they have been relying on through the University System of Georgia healthcare plans.”