• BlueCross BlueShield changes affect thousands of Oklahomans

    By: Nathan Thompson


    TULSA, Okla. - Quick Facts:


    • Nearly 10,000 people in Tulsa County and about 40,000 people in Oklahoma have to switch their insurance plan from BlueCross BlueShield of Oklahoma.
    • BlueCross is removing their Choice Plan from the federal insurance marketplace.
    • St. John Health System does not accept the other BlueCross plans in the marketplace or for families or individuals to directly buy.
    • The Hillcrest and St. Francis systems will accept the BlueCross plans in the marketplace.
    • BlueCross says you can still get the Choice plan if you get it through an employer.


    Nearly 10,000 people in Tulsa County will have to change insurance plans for the next year, because Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma will no longer offer a popular plan through the health insurance marketplace.
    “It’s quite an ordeal to go through to make sure you’re getting the right coverage and the right plan for the right place,” said Woody Wood.
    Wood is one of the 40,000 in the state who have to make changes to their health insurance. He is switching companies to make sure he can keep going to his regular doctor.
    He purchases his plan through the HealthCare.gov marketplace, but Blue Cross is pulling their plan from it. Wood said that switching insurance carriers is coming at a huge cost.
    “We’re looking at $15,000 to $18,000 per year in insurance expense for the family. Just my wife and I,” Wood said.
    It’s not just those buying through the federal marketplace either. If anyone buys individual or family plans directly, they also won’t be able to get the Blue Cross Choice Plan.
    Officials said those who get their insurance through an employer can still get the Choice Plan.
    “This is a really complex situation. You really need to do your homework and make sure that your doctor is on the list,” Wood said.
    Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma officials told FOX23 that taking the Choice Plan out of the marketplace was a difficult decision to make.

    Next Up: