Family caught in middle of BCBS, Children's dispute

Twenty-month-old Leo Jaeger is now cancer-free - only the doctors at Children's who helped him get healthy might not be able to treat him anymore. http://kare11.tv/2tijzJS

BLAINE, Minn. - Leo Jaeger is happy and healthy again.

And his parents know why - Children's Minnesota, the state's largest pediatric hospital.

"They've just been incredible," said Leo's mom, Melissa Jaeger. "Our son probably wouldn't have been doing as well as he has been other places, so we are incredibly grateful."

Leo was just 8 months when he was diagnosed with LCH, a rare form of cancer.

He went through surgeries, scans, and chemo.

"I mean, kids, when they're in pain, they're in pain," said Tom Jaeger, Leo's dad. "So, we knew when he was hurting, he was actually hurting."

Months later, Leo is cancer-free – only the doctors at Children's who helped him get healthy might not be able to treat him anymore.

"It's paramount that we stay at Children's for a variety of reasons, so this is becoming very, very stressful," said Melissa Jaeger.

On Wednesday, Children's Minnesota and insurance provider Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota failed to meet a deadline to negotiate a new contract.

That makes Children's an out-of-network provider.

About 66,000 patients are left wondering what to do.

"Right now, we're just, we have enough medication to last a month," said Tom Jaeger.

RELATED: Children's Minnesota, BCBS fail to reach deal

Both sides are responding with statements.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota says:

"We find it disappointing that Children's would choose to walk away from our network instead of working with us collaboratively to negotiate a new agreement."

Children's Minnesota says:

"Blue Cross gave Children's an impossible ultimatum, knowingly threatening our ability to care for the kids and families that rely on us every day."

The Jaegers know how to solve this.

"Yeah, I think they should go and negotiate on the oncology floor at Children's, because that would really put it into perspective for them and who it affects," he said.

The Jaegers said they will try to file for an exemption, although not many will qualify for that.

In their statement, Blue Cross did mention other in-network options, like the U of M, Gillette, Mayo Clinic, Sanford Children's, and Shriner's.

© 2017 KARE-TV


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