As it stands today, we face the real possibility that Northwest Healthcare facilities, urgent care and physicians will be forced out of United’s network on May 1, 2017.
We know in-network access to high-quality healthcare providers for a competitive price is important to your clients. As you helped your client make their healthcare selections during open enrollment, you trusted UnitedHealthcare to stand by their word and meet your clients’ expectations. However, only two months into open enrollment, United terminated our agreement, limiting your clients’ access to very services they signed up for. That isn’t fair to you or your clients.
What this means for your clients:
- Continuity of Care: Certain patients may qualify for Continuity of Care benefits for a period of time after United’s proposed termination date, if they need ongoing treatment, are pregnant, or if they have a previously scheduled procedure. Share the Continuity of Care form, or have your clients call the customer service phone number on the back of their United health insurance card to find out their eligibility.
- Emergency Care: In the event of an emergency, patients should always go to the nearest emergency room. That’s the one place United cannot deny your clients from receiving healthcare services or impose a financial burden on them. Therefore, access to emergency care at Northwest Medical Center, Oro Valley Hospital and Northwest Emergency Center Vail is not impacted, regardless of our network status with United.
- Out-of-Network Care: If your clients’ health insurance plan has out-of-network benefits, they may still access Northwest Healthcare. Work with your clients to help determine their out-of-network benefit level, or urge your clients to call the number on the back of their health insurance card to find out what their out-of-pocket costs may be.
You can help. Talk with your clients about their options to keep in-network access to Northwest Healthcare.
- Encourage your clients who offer more than one health insurance plan to offer a special open enrollment period that lets United members switch to a plan that provides in-network access to Northwest Healthcare.
- Offer your clients a second health insurance option, so that their employees have in-network options at Northwest Healthcare. Here is a complete list of in-network Medicare Advantage health plans. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please call us directly at (520) 469-8339.
- Speak to your Medicare Advantage clients about changing health plans. There are special circumstances that may allow your clients to enroll in a different Medicare Advantage plan to maintain their in-network access to Northwest Healthcare. CMS needs to hear from your clients today. Urge your clients to contact CMS at (800) 633-4227 to switch plans and request a complaint be opened.
Northwest Healthcare’s ability to provide care for our community is only possible through strong relationships with health insurance companies. Stand up to United and urge them to put patients – and our community – before its financial motivations.