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Sansum Clinic Reaches Agreement with Blue Shield for Covered California

Sansum providers will be in-network for Santa Barbara County residents who purchase Covered California individual plans

Sansum Clinic now has a contract with Blue Shield of California to make plans in-network for Sansum providers. Sansum Clinic operates 23 primary and specialty care facilities on the South Coast, including the new Medical and Surgical Center at 4151 Foothill Road. Click to view larger
Sansum Clinic now has a contract with Blue Shield of California to make plans in-network for Sansum providers. Sansum Clinic operates 23 primary and specialty care facilities on the South Coast, including the new Medical and Surgical Center at 4151 Foothill Road. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

Sansum Clinic now has a contract with Blue Shield of California for Covered California individual health insurance plans, which means the organization will be an in-network provider for people who buy those plans. 

Santa Barbara County has only one insurer, Blue Shield, offering Covered California plans for 2018 since Anthem Blue Cross pulled out of the local market and many others. 

Sansum Clinic has 23 primary, specialty and urgent care clinics on the South Coast and Anthem has been the only Covered California plan in-network for Sansum providers since the exchange started in 2014. 

Blue Shield and Sansum have been negotiating a deal for months

"We are delighted to announce that Sansum Clinic has secured a contract with Blue Shield of California for individual health insurance plans offered through Covered California," Sansum Clinic spokeswoman Jill Fonte said Monday.

"This means that Sansum Clinic should be an in-network provider for plans sold by Blue Shield for individuals through Covered California. It is always a good idea to confirm with your insurance broker or with Blue Shield that the plan you choose will include Sansum Clinic, as those plans will be available." 

People who currently have Anthem Blue Cross Covered California plans will have to choose new plans for 2018, and the open enrollment period ends Jan. 31, 2018.

"Our mission is to provide patients in our community with access to high quality, cost-effective care, close to home," Fonte said in a statement. "As the largest provider of outpatient healthcare services in our area, we are pleased to be able to ensure our patients continuity of care at Sansum Clinic and happy to continue our long relationship with Blue Shield of California."

The contract means that patients should be able to continue seeing their providers, Blue Shield said in a statement. 

"Because Anthem Blue Cross chose to leave the individual and family plan market in many regions of the state in 2018 – including Santa Barbara – Blue Shield of California and Sansum, an established provider in the area that has been part of Anthem’s network, put a renewed effort on negotiations to avoid potential disruptions between members and their physicians," spokeswoman Lauren Bartlett said in a statement. 

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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