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 access to high-quality healthcare providers is important to you and your employees. As you made your healthcare selections during open enrollment, you selected and trusted UnitedHealthcare to be your insurer and cover your healthcare needs. However, United has chosen to terminate its contract with us, limiting access to the very services you signed up for. That isn’t fair to you or your employees
Further, despite our health system offering significant compromise, United has refused to negotiate on anything less than a 25% cut in what they pay us for the care we provide. As a leading employer, you know there aren’t many businesses that could sustain hight quality operations with such a deep cut. This kind of demand threatens our ability to provide the same level of services and resources our patients have come to expect from Northwest Healthcare.
We have a responsibility to our patients – the thousands of people with United insurance who entrust us with their care – to keep doing everything we can reasonably do to stay in United’s network. The bottom line is that we need United to make an effort to reach a fair, reasonable agreement. If that doesn’t happen, we want you to know how you and your employees may be impacted by United’s decision.
What this means for you and your employees:
- 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 this Continuity of Care form, or have your employees 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 employees 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 employees’ health insurance plan has out-of-network benefits, they may still access Northwest Healthcare. Talk to your broker or benefit consultant to understand the out-of-network benefits you have, or urge your employees to call the number on the back of their health insurance card to find out what their out-of-pocket costs may be.
Act now to protect your employees’ in-network access to Northwest Healthcare. Here’s what you can do:
- If you offer more than one health insurance plan, offer a special open enrollment period that allows employees to switch carriers to one that includes Northwest Healthcare.
- Offer a second health insurance plan if you are a local employer, so that your employees have options for accessing their preferred providers at Northwest Healthcare. We are in network with all major insurers.
- Consider a direct contract with Northwest Healthcare to alleviate the issue all together. For more information, call us directly at (520) 469-8339.
If you do nothing, Northwest Healthcare facilities, urgent care, and physicians will be out of network and that will cost you – and your employees – more out of pocket.