A QualChoice clarification | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A QualChoice clarification

Posted By on Sat, Apr 5, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Mike Stock, CEO and president of QualChoice of Arkansas, sent a note to me about policy coverage in the case that the company is taken over by the Catholic Health Initiatives, in case my earlier post did not make it clear: 

We do not determine what is covered in our benefit plans based upon what any individual provider decides to offer as a medical service. Items covered under our plans can be obtained from any provider in our network if that provider provides the service [my emphasis].

So providers who do not to offer the reproductive benefits contained in QualChoice plans (including abortion to save the life of the mother, or in the case of incest, rape or fetal non-viability) won't. Those who do, will. 

The question for the Catholic diocese here is, however, is whether ownership of a company that will cover procedures that do not fall under its Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services somehow compromises its adherence to those directives. It shouldn't: Catholic Health Initiatives is already part owner of QualChoice Holdings Inc., so the cat's out of the bag, so to speak. Yet, some have written that Catholic can't own insurance companies under Affordable Care Act rules. 

Arkansas needs competition in its insurance marketplace. CHI has nearly $20 billion in assets. That means QualChoice can expand into all counties in Arkansas. State Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford has said he will fast-track regulatory filings to complete the deal.

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