Mental Health Options Restricted by Health Insurance Companies

Options for mental health are being severely restricted by some of the major health insurance carriers in Minnesota through their contracting practices with providers.  A survey of my peers supported my experience that HealthPartners of Minnesota is the worst regarding refusing to offer contracts to individual practitioner requests, followed by Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medica, Aetna, and Cigna. Reasons for denial by HealthPartners were that they had enough practitioners in that geographic area and that HealthPartners seldom gives contracts to small clinics. So the big clinics get bigger and the pool of providers from which patients can choose is limited to those that conform or are forced to conform to the big clinic model.  This practice is discriminatory and contradicts the pro-entrepreneur and pro-small business movement that Minnesota prides itself on. Respondents to my survey indicated no problem getting in network with Medical Assistance, Preferred One, or UCare. If you are making a decision on which health insurance company to choose for yourself or your family, or are in a decision-making capacity for a company regarding which health insurance carrier to entrust with your company's benefits, please take note.  Certain insurance companies have long-standing, hidden constraints that significantly reduce the provider pool from which patients can select.     

Options for mental health are being severely restricted by some of the major health insurance carriers in Minnesota through their contracting practices with providers. 

A survey of my peers supported my experience that HealthPartners of Minnesota is the worst regarding refusing to offer contracts to individual practitioner requests, followed by Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medica, Aetna, and Cigna.

Reasons for denial by HealthPartners were that they had enough practitioners in that geographic area and that HealthPartners seldom gives contracts to small clinics. So the big clinics get bigger and the pool of providers from which patients can choose is limited to those that conform or are forced to conform to the big clinic model.  This practice is discriminatory and contradicts the pro-entrepreneur and pro-small business movement that Minnesota prides itself on.

Respondents to my survey indicated no problem getting in network with Medical Assistance, Preferred One, or UCare.

If you are making a decision on which health insurance company to choose for yourself or your family, or are in a decision-making capacity for a company regarding which health insurance carrier to entrust with your company's benefits, please take note.  Certain insurance companies have long-standing, hidden constraints that significantly reduce the provider pool from which patients can select.