LICH, UnitedHealthcare in Contract Standoff

Continuum Health Partners, the hospital consortium that includes Long Island College Hospital, and UnitedHealthcare, a major underwriter of health insurance plans, including Oxford, failed to renew their contract by the January 1 deadline.

Crain’s New York Business: A big Manhattan hospital system and one of the country’s largest insurers have failed to come to terms on a contract, potentially forcing thousands of New Yorkers to find new hospitals and doctors, or face higher healthcare costs.

Continuum Health Partners—which includes Beth Israel Medical Center, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, Long Island College Hospital and the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary—dropped out of UnitedHealthcare’s network on January 1.

The expiration of the contract immediately affected those covered under self-funded accounts managed but not insured by United or its affiliates. Those covered under plans insured by United or affiliates, such as Oxford, as well as Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, will continue to be covered during a two month grace period mandated by state law, which will expire at midnight, February 28.

According to the Crain’s article, Continuum and United are “continuing to negotiate”, so it is possible that a new agreement will be reached before the grace period expires.

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