About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Federal workers get to watch–for now

Updating the Mary Washington-Anthem contract dispute.

Federal employees with Anthem health insurance are different than other Anthem customers. They’re not affected by the dispute between the insurance company and Mary Washington Healthcare. Not yet, at least.

Federal workers with a policy through the Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Program are shielded from the effects of the Anthem-MWHC split for 90 days. Their policies contain a grace period that allows them to continue to receive covered services from Mary Washington at the “preferred level” until April 1, according to a letter sent to customers by Ron Childress, vice president.

Beginning April 2, if the separation is still in effect, care at Mary Washington becomes “non-preferred,” according to Childress. At that point, federal workers will face the same questions that other Anthem customers have faced since Jan. 1: Where should we go for care and what will it cost?

(A copy of Childress’ letter is here: Mary Washington.)