HOBOKEN AND BEYOND -- Planning to go to Hoboken University Medical Center in the near future? You might want to check with your insurance company.
(HUMC) was recently purchased by a private company that also co-owns Bayonne Medical Center. While the sale kept the facility afloat financially, customers with certain insurance plans may now have to pay higher rates for the time being.
New Chief Executive Officer Phil Schaengold, who served as the chief transition officer during the sale process, answered questions about the insurance and other matters last week in an exclusive interview with the Reporter. See this weekend's newspaper to read the story.
During the interview, Schaengold was asked about the insurance conundrum. When the same ownership group took over Bayonne Medical Center, they canceled all contracts with insurers so that they could try to get a better reimbursement rate. In the meantime, people covered by those companies were not sure what their rate would be.
Right now, both Hoboken and Bayonne hospitals are only “in-network” with Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Medicare, and Medicaid. That's because Blue Cross recently came to a settlement with the hospital owners.
That means that patients with most insurance carriers may pay high rates for certain services until fees are negotiated. The hospital is currently negotiating with the other insurance carriers individually.
However, all hospitals in the state are required by law to treat patients in emergency rooms, regardless of insurance coverage. The hospital will treat you - you just may have to pay more.
Schaengold said HUMC accepts all insurance, but some plans have different benefits for out-of-network care.
“Our goal is to be in-network with all insurance companies,” Schaengold said. “But regardless of whether we have an in-network or out-of-network agreement, all patients should not hesitate to come to our emergency room and use our services when they need them.”
At least one Hoboken resident was recently told by a doctor not to go to HUMC because patients have been surprised by large bills due to the insurance change.
Patients with insurance questions can call the hospital at (201) 418-1000.
For more on this story and future improvements and programs at the hospital, see this weekend's newspaper, on yourdoorstep or at hudsonreporter.com starting Sunday.