NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- Patients insured under the health insurance company Anthem are no longer considered "in network" at more than two dozen women's care practices.
The Virginian-Pilot reports the change comes after years of negotiation between Mid-Atlantic Women's Care and the health insurance company.
“Shockingly it happened," said Mid-Atlantic patient Tammy Dodson.
In total, there are seven in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, five in Norfolk and several on the Peninsula. There are also some locations from Franklin to Nags Head.
Mid-Atlantic Women's Care decided to terminate the contract with Anthem because the insurance company said there would be no cost-of-living increase.
“It affects the convenience of it, it affects the longevity that I’ve been with my doctor, and most recently it affects a diagnosis that I got," said Tammy. She said, “I’ve been with my one doctor since I had kids. My kids are twenty and twenty-two.”
Now Tammy has to see switch her doctor immediately. She says she has to see a doctor every six months because of a precancerous diagnosis. “I’m fifty four and I was diagnosed with moderate dysplasia," said Tammy.
Anthem argued the refusal was done in patients' best interest because an increase would make them ultimately bear the extra expenses.
Anthem patients are still able to see their current doctors, but should be aware that out-of-network costs will likely be significantly higher.
“This is something that we have actively been buying into, and that we know we need, and we’re following the rules and we’re doing it right. And we’re getting stuck without the care that we need because other groups that we have nothing to do with are fighting it out,” said Mid- Atlantic Women's Care patient, Sarah Hill.
Pregnant women in their second or third trimester can continue with in-network coverage until the end of their pregnancy.