Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, UMMC has always been committed to providing the best care for all Mississippians and that will never change. We want you to continue to see your trusted UMMC doctor or provider. However, since Blue Cross has removed UMMC from its network, it is important for you to know that you may have to agree to accept full responsibility for your bill. 

A: For most patients who are a member of a Blue Cross commercial plan, yes, care will cost you more out of your pocket. We have tried our very best to avoid this, but Blue Cross is not willing to pay us fair rates.  For many years, they have undervalued our unique and critical services and underpaid us, which significantly has limited our ability to invest in your care and other services Mississippian’s need, the way that other academic medical centers and children’s hospitals do in states like Alabama or Louisiana.

Unless an agreement is reached by July 1, 2022, patients who are receiving in-network continuing care coverage according to federal guidance may face higher out-of-pocket costs when seeking care through UMMC facilities and providers. The continuing care provision ends on June 30, 2022.

When the continuing care period ends, all care provided by UMMC to Blue Cross commercial health plan members after June 30, 2022, except for emergency services, will no longer be processed as in-network care. Beginning July 1, 2022, UMMC will not accept any assignment of benefits, written direction of payment or any means of payment from Blue Cross that are not directly solicited by UMMC, except for any care you may need for emergency services. Patients who have Blue Cross commercial insurance will be responsible for the full bill for items or services provided by UMMC, less applicable UMMC discounts.

Please remember, for emergencies, you can access UMMC at any time to receive the care you urgently need and deserve.

Call us at 601-496-0008 and we will work with you to get an appointment scheduled. We can also provide a good faith estimate of the dollar amount you should expect to pay for your visit. After scheduling the appointment, we will send you a patient-responsibility acknowledgment form through MyChart, our electronic health records system. This form acknowledges your understanding that UMMC will not accept payment from Blue Cross for any elective services and that will we not accept assignment of benefits or written direction of payment from Blue Cross. A signed acknowledgment form is required before your next appointment or before any services are provided.

To sign up for MyChart, click here.

We understand that this is a stressful situation for our patients. There are discounts available to you that will be applied to your bill which will lessen your out-of-pocket costs. Also, we have payment plans available to assist you. Sometimes, in out-of-network situations, insurance companies may send money directly to their members according to the language in your member agreement to cover part of the patient responsibility of the hospital and/or provider charges. 

The Blue Cross Provider Manual states that payment for services rendered in non-network hospitals will be paid to you, not us. Normally when that occurs the patient uses that payment from Blue Cross to cover a portion of the payment that must be made to us for the entire amount of the patient bill.

Our sincere hope is that you continue your relationship with UMMC. But if the financial hardship created by Blue Cross not agreeing to a fair contract with UMMC is forcing you to change providers, you should call the phone number on the back of your Blue Cross membership card for more information on that process.

A: Blue Cross forced us out of network on April 1, 2022, but we continue working to get the deal we need to provide the right care at the right time our patients deserve. During ongoing negotiations, instead of working with us to resolve the below-market rates that they have been paying us for many years, Blue Cross has demanded even further reductions in the rates they pay to us. Annually, the rates Blue Cross pays to us are far below levels that other academic medical centers receive in neighboring states. We cannot accept these unsustainable rates that would jeopardize our ability to provide essential services to Mississippians.

To further show our commitment to reaching an agreement with Blue Cross, both sides will continue negotiations and we remain committed to working with Blue Cross to finding a resolution that prioritizes our patients.

A: We are committed to our patients, our providers and staff, and the health and well-being of all Mississippians.

To further show our commitment to reaching an agreement with Blue Cross, both sides will continue negotiations and we remain committed to working with Blue Cross to finding a resolution that prioritizes our patients.

A: Coverage changes will be effective April 1, and the Blue Cross network will exclude all UMMC facilities and providers.

Also, unless an agreement is reached by July 1, 2022, patients who are receiving in-network continuing care coverage according to federal guidance may face higher out-of-pocket costs when seeking care through UMMC facilities and providers. The continuing care provision ends on June 30, 2022.

When the continuing care period ends, all care provided by UMMC to Blue Cross commercial health plan members after June 30, 2022, except for emergency services, will no longer be processed as in-network care. Beginning July 1, 2022, UMMC will not accept any assignment of benefits, written direction of payment or any means of payment from Blue Cross that are not directly solicited by UMMC, except for any care you may need for emergency services. Patients who have Blue Cross commercial insurance will be responsible for the full bill for items or services provided by UMMC, less applicable UMMC discounts.

Please remember, for emergencies, you can access UMMC at any time to receive the care you urgently need and deserve.

A: If an agreement is not reached, care provided through all adult and pediatric hospitals, clinics, facilities, and physicians, specialists and other providers affiliated with UMMC may be considered out-of-network. This includes:

  • All hospital and physicians services on the main Jackson campus
  • Children’s of Mississippi
  • UMMC Grenada
  • UMMC Lexington
  • All metro-Jackson and statewide physician offices

A: If you have commercial health insurance from Blue Cross, either purchased directly or through your employer, your health plan is affected. The Mississippi State and School Employees’ Life and Health Insurance Plan, managed by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi, is not impacted by this negotiation.

A: Yes, individuals with Blue Cross commercial health insurance plans from other states or through the federal government are also affected.

A: Unless an agreement is reached by July 1, 2022, patients who are receiving in-network continuing care coverage according to federal guidance may face higher out-of-pocket costs when seeking care through UMMC facilities and providers. The continuing care provision ends on June 30, 2022.

When the continuing care period ends, all care provided by UMMC to Blue Cross commercial health plan members after June 30, 2022, except for emergency services, will no longer be processed as in-network care. Beginning July 1, 2022, UMMC will not accept any assignment of benefits, written direction of payment or any means of payment from Blue Cross that are not directly solicited by UMMC, except for any care you may need for emergency services. Patients who have Blue Cross commercial insurance will be responsible for the full bill for items or services provided by UMMC, less applicable UMMC discounts.

Please remember, for emergencies, you can access UMMC at any time to receive the care you urgently need and deserve.

UMMC will require a signed patient-responsibility acknowledgment form before your next appointment or before any services are provided. After scheduling your appointment, we will send you the form through MyChart, our electronic health records system to your confirmed e-mail. This form acknowledges your understanding that UMMC will not accept payment from Blue Cross for any elective services and that we will not accept assignment of benefits or written direction of payment from Blue Cross.

A: Here are some things you can do:

  • Never delay care. Regardless of our network status with Blue Cross, you will always have access to our emergency rooms at UMMC. You can and should visit the nearest emergency room if you experience a medical emergency.
  • Talk with your employer. Contact the human resources department where you work and find out what other options you can explore. Let them know the importance of keeping your in-network access to UMMC and our doctors. Ask them to explore other options to protect your in-network access to UMMC. We are currently in network with the below plans for the full 2022 and 2023 benefit year. You can see those plans
  • Call Blue Cross. Use your voice by calling the number on the back of your Blue Cross insurance card. Tell them how in-network care at UMMC having is essential for your family. Urge them to work in good faith to re-establish a relationship with UMMC that does not continue to jeopardize the high-quality and dependable care you deserve by keeping your providers out of network.
  • Stay informed. Visit our website at UMMCCares.com for negotiation updates and to view answers to frequently asked questions. For other questions, you may also call the dedicated patient line at 601-496-0008.

A: No, these contract negotiations only affect you if you have a commercial health plan through Blue Cross either purchased directly from Blue Cross or through your employer. 

A: We will keep you up to date about these negotiations as new information becomes available either through direct communication to you or through the website (UMMCCares.com) where we will be posting updates. Please check the website frequently for updates. You can also call our dedicated patient hotline at 601-496-0008.