MUSKOGEE - A spokesperson for Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance confirmed the contract between the Saint Francis-operated hospital in Muskogee dropped at midnight.
Officials said several large Muskogee employers including employees with the City of Muskogee are affected by the expiration of coverage at the Muskogee hospital.
Muskogee City Attorney Roy Tucker responded to the hospital contract ending.
"There are approximately 870 individuals with the City of Muskogee that are affected. This number includes our 450 current City employees, plus their dependent, and retirees. To clarify, these employees, dependents and retirees are still insured, but St. Francis Muskogee will now be out-of-network. We have no information on which other Muskogee employers use BCBS for their employees. We remain hopeful that a deal will ultimately be struck between St. Francis Muskogee and BCBS. However, we are also investigating other potential providers."
A Blue Cross and Blue Shield spokesperson said those who purchased the only coverage plan offered on the Oklahoma exchange is also affected.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma said its holding a workshop this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Muskogee Civic Center for its members to find other avenues.
In a statement to 2 Works For You, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma said, “as of June 1, benefit payments for services rendered at Saint Francis Muskogee will be made directly to BCBSOK members. It will be the member’s responsibility to pay the hospital for accrued medical expenses.”
Blue Cross and Blue Shield said it has 72 doctors and 69 specialists already in network in Muskogee.
Oklahoma State Representative Avery Frix, R-Muskogee released a statement regarding the drop in coverage:
“The lease transfer the City of Muskogee's Hospital Trust Authority accepted with Saint Francis Health System is not in the best interest of the 450 City of Muskogee employees or the citizens of Muskogee. Quality of life and economic development suffers when patients have to drive to Tulsa or another community's hospital. That's why I urge St. Francis Hospital, Blue Cross & Blue Shield, and the City of Muskogee's Hospital Trust Authority to step up and correct this for all City employees who have coverage through Blue Cross Blue Shield and the thousands of constituents in my district who are effected."
The insurance provider said these hospitals and urgent care facilities are open for BCBS members affected by he drop in coverage at the Muskogee hospital.
Wagoner Community Hospital 1200 W Cherokee St., Wagoner, OK 74467
St. John Broken Arrow 1000 W Boise Circle, Broken Arrow, OK 74012
Muscogee Creek Nation Medical Center 1401 Morris Dr., Okmulgee, OK 74447
Hillcrest Hospital South 8801 S 101st E Ave., Tulsa, OK 74133
Sequoyah Memorial Hospital 213 E Redwood Ave., Sallisaw, OK 74955
Ardent Hillcrest Hospital Pryor 111 N Bailey St., Pryor, OK 74361