Effective January 1, 2010, as a result of negotiations between The City of New York Office of Labor Relations, and the Unions, represented by the Municipal Labor Committee, the Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield portion of the plan (that covers benefits for services provided at hospitals and out-patient facilities) of the GHI-CBP/EBCBS plan has changed to a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan for you and your eligible dependents.
With a PPO plan, members have access to both in-network and out-of-network care, but by using a network facility you can avoid high out-of-network expenses.
Pre approval to verify that the facility is part of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association BlueCard PPO Program will be required for hospital procedures. You should call NYC HEALTHLINE at 1-800-521-9574 to verify that the facility you wish to use is in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Blue Card PPO Program. With a PPO plan, you have access to both in-network and out-of-network care, but by using a network facility you avoid high out-of-network expenses. Call Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Customer Service at 1-800-433-9592 if you have any questions.
Physician services under the GHI-CBP portion of the plan are not affected by this change.
Lastly, members received new GHI and Empire BlueCross BlueShield Identification cards. Destroy the old cards and use the new ones beginning January 1. If you have not received new cards, call GHI to request them at 1-212-501-4444.