IU Health and UnitedHealthcare had been in negotiations to reach an agreement for 2014 before the contract expiration date on Dec. 31, 2013. A new agreement was not finalized and discussions will continue in January.
Therefore, on Jan. 1, 2014, IU Health and IU Health Physician doctors and facilities will become out-of-network for most patients covered under UnitedHealthcare health insurance. But IU Health has made the decision to treat UnitedHealthcare patients and their portion of the bill as ‘in-network’ as of Jan. 1, 2014, to help avoid disruption of care and help reduce the patient’s overall costs.
“This decision is consistent with our commitment to ensuring patients have access to nationally recognized care,” said Dr. John C. Kohne, chief medical officer, Indiana University Health. “We know patients value the relationship with their physician and health care team, and we want to help them maintain those relationships without unnecessary disruption.”
This special ‘in-network’ status means that UnitedHealthcare patients may continue to receive care from IU Health doctors and IU Health facilities, but are responsible for any in-network deductible and co-pay fees. This special in-network status will apply to the portion of a patient’s bill that is based on the 2014 benefit levels.
No immediate steps are required to receive this in-network status. Patients are encouraged to schedule appointments and visit care providers as they normally would. If a patient sees their IU Health provider and receives a statement that includes fees higher than anticipated (out of network fees, for example), they should call the number listed on the statement and the fees will be adjusted to in-network costs.
In the meantime, IU Health continues to be committed to working toward an agreement with UnitedHealthCare.