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HOUSTON (KIAH) – A fight between insurance company Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas and Memorial Hermann lead to terminated contracts of 100,000 patients.

Many people are losing in-network status after a disagreement between the hospital and the insurance company. Patients are now forced to look for other health care options or forced to pay more out of pocket if they want to keep using the Memorial Hermann Health System.

This conflict started because Blue Cross Blue Shield wants doctors to contract directly with the insurer rather than through Memorial Hermann. It impacts rates for nearly 3,000 independent doctors in its system.

About 1,000 Memorial Hermann physicians and health care professionals have chosen to contract separately with Blue Cross Blue Shield to remain in its network.

Now, this means that more than 265 of Memorial Hermann’s hospitals, surgery centers, and care delivery sites may no longer be in your network.

Out-of-network status went into effect on March 1, 2022. This means if a patient was admitted to the hospital prior to 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 28 when the contracts expired, their hospital stay will be covered as an in-network patient.

The Memorial Herman Health System released a statement saying, “We were hopeful throughout the negotiations that we would reach a mutually beneficial agreement, and despite the termination will continue to work towards an agreement. We have great respect for Memorial Hermann as an organization, but we continue to focus on what is best for our members and customers.”

If you’re looking for medical care, our news partners at ABC13 shared some helpful tips on how to find in-network doctors and providers.

  • You can call the customer service number on your member id card
  • or personalized search results based on your health plan and network, register or log in to blue access for members.
  • In the case of a life-threatening illness or injury, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency facility right away.

After months of negotiation, both parties say they hope to reach an agreement soon.