October 11, 2017

Earlier this week, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBS) and the OSF Health System (OSF) made separate announcements regarding the contracting and accessibility of OSF locations for the benefit of BCBS insured patrons.  We think it is prudent at this time to inform our clients regarding the ongoing negotiations as several CIBC clients and prospects are deciding on plan designs for the upcoming year.

The CIBC Opinion:  These are significant potential changes to the BCBS PPO network in Illinois.  This could be negotiation tactic, and there is a chance that OSF facilities will be in-network for BCBS in 2018, but there is no guarantee.  The markets most at risk for CIBC clients are Bloomington and Peoria.   Employers should proceed with caution when considering selecting BCBS as a carrier in these markets in particular.

OSF Statement from Website

Important Update: Blue Cross Blue Shield Participation

Effective January 1, 2018, all OSF Hospitals in Illinois with the exception of Saint Anthony’s Health Center in Alton will no longer participate in the Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO network.  This action was prompted by a termination that was initiated by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois.

This termination impacts only the following Blue Cross products:  Commercial, BCBS PPO, all Blue Choice and EPO products.  It is our hope that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois will realize the value of having OSF HealthCare hospitals in its network for its members, and rescind its termination.

OSF locations impacted include: Bloomington, Escanaba, Galesburg, Kewanee, Mendota, Monmouth, Ottawa, Peoria, Pontiac, Rockford

The Champaign/Danville Market

As far as we know, this change if it goes through, will not affect the Champaign/Danville markets.  “There will not be any change on January 1 relative to coverage for our members using Presence providers. OSF has not completed its acquisition of Presence hospitals in Champaign/Urbana and Danville, and is not expected to do so until sometime in February 2018. It is not clear that there would even be any impact on network participation for Presence Covenant.”

BCBS Expansion in Peoria, Galesburg, and Rockford – Statement from BCBS

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) is committed to providing access to quality, cost-effective health care in Illinois. In keeping with this commitment, effective Jan. 1, 2018, UnityPoint Health – Methodist in Peoria, Mercyhealth Hospital-Rockton Avenue in Rockford and Galesburg Cottage Hospital in Galesburg will join BCBSIL’s PPO and BlueChoice® networks.




About CIBC:  CIBC is downstate Illinois premier independent brokerage specializing in employee benefits. 
Visit us at www.cibcinc.com or call 877.936.3580 for more information.