Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is stepping into the health care contract dispute that’s left hundreds of thousands of residents covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia out of network with Piedmont doctors and hospitals.
He announced Tuesday that the state will absorb out-of-network claims for up to 30 days to financially help out affected state employees.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia and Piedmont Healthcare have been negotiating over new terms and failed to reach a contract agreement over the weekend.
Deal said the dispute has affected nearly 600,000 state employees, retirees and their families covered by the insurance company and urged the two companies to continue their negotiations.
“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,” Deal said in a statement.
Other Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia customers who are not state employees are not included in the assistance.