BMGH continues relationship with insurance company

Battle Mountain General Hospital (BMGH) has agreed to a contract renewal with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance. The renewal will extend the contract through 2019 and will provide hospital employees health, dental and vision coverage.

On Nov. 13, the hospital board was notified that Nevada Rural Hospital Partners (NHRP) agreed to a proposal submitted by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield for BMGH employee insurance. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has provided coverage for hospital employees for seven years now and will continue with them until 2019.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield submitted the proposal to NRHP offering full network renewal with a 9% reduction in the cost of health coverage, 5% reduction for dental coverage and included no increase for vision care. Overall BMGH will save approximately $76.81 per insured employee by agreeing to the contract renewal.

“This is part of the deal we have to pay attention to and we owe our allegiance to the taxpayers first. What goes out of this hospital and what we pay for is our responsibility,” said James Mathues, before the board looked at the contract. “We are elected by the voters to make sure that happens. When it comes to us, we look at the contract and make sure that the contract is the right thing for the hospital.”

Mathues was concerned that the contract was agreed upon without the board of trustees seeing the deal. He worried BMGH would get put into a lump sum with other hospitals in the agreement. “Battle Mountain hospital will continue to stand alone, and not be put in a lump sum,” explained Human Resources Director Kathy Freeman, “It was decided to put the hospital (insurance) out to market because our hospital has not been to market for several years. We announced that we would go out for bid and look for the best options we had.”

Anthem provided the best proposal and lowered the cost for the same amount of coverage the hospital currently receives. “Anthem came back to us with a 9% reduction in medical coverage and 5% reduction in dental coverage which will drop our cost as low as they were three years again in 2014,” stated Freeman to the board, “That was pretty significant reduction with the plan.”

With the proposal accepted, expected completion of BMGH employee enrollment is Dec. 1. “I think Anthem is a lot better than we anticipated. I am happy that Anthem came back and could rectify the issues that we had with them,” added Interim Chief Executive Officer Kathy Ancho.