For 7,000 of Sansum Clinic’s Affordable Care Act patients, months of nail-biting have come to an end because Sansum has just entered into a contract with Blue Shield to secure health insurance coverage under the “individual plan” provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
The fate of these 7,000 patients had been highly uncertain since this summer when their previous insurance provider — Anthem Blue Cross — announced it was leaving the Santa Barbara County market as of January 1. Had Blue Shield not agreed to cover these patients, they would have been left without a provider. Sansum has been negotiating regularly with Blue Shield since then.
Santa Barbara remains one of only two counties in California with only one provider selling individual health care plans under the Affordable Care Act.