Insurance co. won't foot bill if you go to emergency room with non-emergency

Blue Cross Blue Shield says it won't pay if it feels the visit wasn't an emergency.

If you go to the emergency room with non-emergencies, it could cost you more.

That’s be the case for people with BlueCross BlueShield of Georgia as their provider.  The insurance company announced a change in policy, saying patients with ailments like the common cold, allergy symptoms or athletes foot won’t be covered for emergency room visits..

“Emergency room visits that would be better served going to a physician in an office setting will no longer be covered,” BlueCross BlueShield spokesperson Debbie Diamond told CBS station WGCL

Each emergency room claim will be reviewed by a medical director, who will consider the symptoms and diagnosis before deciding if the insurance company will pay the bill.

The president of Georgia’s College of Emergency Physicians says the change is dangerous.  He released a statement to WGCL, saying, “The fear of a health care bill versus having an emergency medical condition can pose a dilemma for patients, leading to delays in emergency care, higher health care costs and most importantly complications in their health. Nearly One-in-four Americans responding to a poll reported that their medical conditions got worse after they delayed visiting an emergency department because they feared their health insurance companies would not cover the costs (Morning Consult 2016).”

The change goes into effect July 1.

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