Texas Community

Insurer Cutbacks Squeeze Patients Out Of High-End Care

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
12/09/15  12:29 PM PST

By Jenny Deam for the Houston Chronicle

More than 88,000 people in the Houston area have lost plans from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas for 2016, potentially cutting off some of the most seriously ill from the top-tier medical care the city has built its reputation on.

Last summer, the state’s largest insurance carrier dropped all preferred provider organization plans from both the Affordable Care Act’s federal exchange in Houston and the private individual market.

Now, with only weeks to go before existing plans expire, patients, doctors and hospitals are scrambling to find what care is available under the insurer’s replacement health maintenance organization plans.

“Jody would be dead if she didn’t have her oncologist,” said Steve Schoger of his wife, his voice catching. The Woodlands couple had their plans canceled.

Both have cancer; both are in experimental clinical trials at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center they fear cannot be replicated elsewhere.

They are at turns furious and terrified.

Read the Full Article at the Houston Chronicle.