UPDATE 11:32 a.m. Monday, Oct. 22, 2018 - The deadline to reach an agreement is Nov. 1.
Enloe Medical Center is still in contract negotiations with the insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross.
Customers insured by Anthem Blue Cross may lose their policies on Nov. 1 if an agreement is not reached.
Anthem Blue Cross sent the medical center an email saying the company is working on a new proposal for the hospital.
Stay with Action News Now for the latest updates as they become available.
CHICO, Calif. - Enloe Medical Center has announced that it is cutting ties with Anthem Blue Cross, an agency that insures thousands of people across Chico.
CEO of Enloe Medical Center, Mike Wiltermood, says that the move is a bargaining tool rather than a full termination notice. Additionally, to be fair, Enloe Medical Center also gave Anthem Blue Cross notice of intent to terminate back in May.
Two weeks ago, the medical center received an email from Anthem Blue Cross that the agency was preparing a rate proposal. However, the center has been frustrated by the pace of the negotiations, he said.
One of the main motivators behind the proposed change is the lack of compensation for physicians.
He says that it's only fair and reasonable that if Anthem Blue Cross pays physicians in Sacramento that they should pay a certain amount here in the North State so that Enloe can recruit and retain physicians.
"When there are physicians in a given specialty getting 150-200 percent of Medicare, while our physicians are getting medicare rates that are below, it's not fair and it's not sustainable for us," Wiltermood said.
Enloe Medical Center is just looking for a fair agreement, he said, and they are highly motivated to reach a deal.
There are currently 3,400 Enloe Medical Center employees and roughly 300 City of Chico employees that are insured by the agency, not to mention thousands of employees at Chico State as well.
Stay with KHSL Channel 12 and actionnewsnow.com for the latest updates as they become available.