WellStar and United Healthcare have failed to negotiate the terms of a new contract. As of October 3, 2021, WellStar is considered out-of-network for United Healthcare plans issued through an employer.
(The Medicare contract has been extended until December 31, which includes State Health Plan retirees and AARP plans. Also, the Multi Plan Network is still active.)
Both sides are speaking out as to why they haven’t reached an agreement yet.
United Healthcare said WellStar is demanding a double-digit price hike that would drive up health care costs by more than 75 million dollars: https://www.uhc.com/wellstar
WellStar claims United Healthcare is prioritizing profits over patients and not paying a fair share of healthcare costs: https://www.wellstar.org/for-patients/health-insurance-information/unitedhealthcare-agreement
Unfortunately, this sort of thing is fairly common between large insurance companies and hospital systems. And usually, they come to a resolution because that is in the best interest of their mutual customers. We are hopeful they will reach an agreement soon.
In the meantime, if this applies to you, consider one of these options:
Use a non-Wellstar provider who is in the United Healthcare network.
Reschedule any non-emergency care until the contract is resolved.
Ask your provider if any upcoming claims could be filed through the Multi Plan network. That might be an option for some.
Apply for a Continuity of Care, when applicable. This is for members who are in the middle of treatment for a serious condition to continue care for a specific period of time after a provider leaves the network (Examples: pregnancy, cancer treatments, etc.).
How to apply for Continuity of Care:
Download and complete the form.
Provider will fax the completed form to United Healthcare – please mark URGENT on the fax submission.
Please send us a copy of the form so we can follow-up with United Healthcare on your behalf.
The best advice to is contact your WellStar provider for input on your personal situation.
United Healthcare and WellStar will post updates on their webpages listed above. We will also keep you updated as new infomration becomes available.