Anthem changes policy on paying for emergency room visits for ‘minor conditions’

Anthem Inc. says it will begin enforcing a policy in Missouri of refusing payment for certain visits to emergency rooms.

Starting this summer, if a Missourian with Anthem insurance shows up at an emergency room with a minor ailment such as a common cold that could have been treated at an urgent care center, the patient will be on the hook for the entire bill.

But hospital officials are concerned over the change, arguing it could put patients at risk.

Anthem, the nation’s second-largest insurer and one of two companies still providing coverage on the state’s Affordable Care Act exchange, has cited increasing costs related to inappropriate ER use as a need for its new stance on payment.

The company, which last week reported a big jump in quarterly profits, has begun notifying its Missouri members and hospitals throughout the state about the change.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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