Hoag to accept Blue Shield PPO

Those who selected Blue Shield of California PPO plans through Covered California will soon be covered for treatment at Hoag Hospital.

Hoag will start accepting Blue Shield's individual and family plan options March 1. The plans can be purchased directly or through the Covered California exchange.

Hoag's inclusion allows for greater access for patients with coverage purchased through Covered California, which stemmed from the Affordable Care Act, also referred to as Obamacare.

Most plans offered through Covered California took effect in January.

"We're pleased that they've decided to join," said Blue Shield representative Lindy Wagner.

Blue Shield created PPO plans for the Covered California exchange, and the network of providers was built to help achieve an affordable price for those plans.

The insurance company asked the hospital to participate at a discounted rate in return for getting more patients, Wagner said.

The hospital initially declined to participate. Instead, Hoag offered treatment only to those who selected a Health Net PPO available through the exchange.

Through the new agreement with Blue Shield, Hoag was pleased that it will be able to offer access to more of the community during the current "unprecedented period of change and coverage disruption" that continues to unfold, said hospital spokeswoman Nina Robinson.

"Hoag is regularly talking with health plans about how we can best participate together," she said. "It's a very dynamic, fluid situation."

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