A Jersey City resident who contacted the Reporter said, “I am in a panic mode as my wife is [pregnant and] due in couple of months. This is a last minute change for both of us. The effective date is February 15, which is such a bad deal for Jersey City residents.”
The letter, dated Jan. 15, reads in part: “Jersey City Medical Center no longer participates with Aetna. We want to let you know that as of February 15, Jersey City Medical Center is no longer part of the Aetna network. However, we will continue to negotiate in good faith toward reaching an agreement.”
The letter to Aetna members continues: “What this means for you: Starting February 15, 2012, only members in plans that offer out-of-network coverage will continue to have access to his facility.”
The letter goes on to list other hospitals that are currently still accepting Aetna insurance: Christ Hospital in Jersey City and Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen.
The county’s other hospital, Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center in Secaucus, also is not listed among the facilities currently accepting Aetna insurance.
One hospital executive reached for comment regarding why so many facilities are dropping Aetna said, “The amount of reimbursement we received from Aetna has been considerably lower than every other insurance provider. We actually lose a considerable amount of money on every Aetna patient we see. We can’t continue at that pace.”
However, Mark Rabson, a spokesman for Jersey City Medical Center, said patients shouldn’t panic and he predicted the matter will be resolved soon.
“It is not the intention of Jersey City Medical Center to be an out-of-network facility,” said Rabson. “We are negotiating in good faith with Aetna to best serve the residents of Jersey City and Hudson County. We’re hopeful for a quick resolution with the company.” – E. Assata Wright