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United HealthCare dropped the Lovelace Health System in New Mexico!!

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Periodic Contributor

United HealthCare dropped the Lovelace Health System in New Mexico!!

When I signed-up for AARP/United Healthcare (UH) Medicare Advantage in November all of my doctors were in-system. Now in January I find out, after the enrollment period has ended, that United Healthcare has dropped the entire Lovelace Health System, including all of my doctors, from their in-network list. 

 

There are two choices, find all new doctors or pay an out-of-network charge. UH is either taking money from the elderly unable to find new doctors or adversely affecting the care of the elderly by delaying treatment while waiting to see a new in-system doctor. Why is AARP attaching their reputation to UH?? 

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Regular Contributor

Hi @gl3477! I am sorry to hear about this change in your UnitedHealthcare Medicare plan. It is important to note that AARP is not the insurer, and we are not in any position to address this matter directly. This issue is between the Lovelace Health System and UnitedHealthcare. You would need to speak with UnitedHealthcare directly with any questions regarding the network change. In an effort to assist, I can reach out to our contacts over at UnitedHealthcare on your behalf to have this further investigated. In order to do so, please send me a private message providing the following info: 

- AARP membership number (or home address)

- Best email address & telephone number

We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate you informing us of your concern. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

 

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Periodic Contributor

Hi Thelma,

I guess I should rephrase my question: Why is AARP associating their name with ANY insurance? If AARP is an advocate for the elderly and UH has adversely affected potentially tens of thousands of people here in New Mexico with their actions, why is AARP connecting their brand to UH. I also understand that UH has used this same tactic before - Broward Health, UMass Memorial Health - so its not new.

 

Another policy question that should be considered is; Why doesn't Medicare mandate contracts be signed BEFORE the Medicare enrollment period so that people have firm information with which to base their Medicare Advantage election decisions. If I had known that UH did not cover my doctors I would never have signed up with them. It seems that reclassifying doctors as out-of-network after people have signed-up for a Medicare Advantage plan can be interpreted as breach-of-contract (in this case by UH) or another way of scamming Medicare and patients. Will AARP take this to Congress to close another loophole that costs Medicare and patients?

Greg

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Honored Social Butterfly

Looks like their contract negotiations fell through - you do have some choices to change to another insurer.  See which ones are still in effect at Lovelace and your specific docs - if a MAPD make sure it has your meds covered too.

 

AARP.org Can I change MA plans a any time?

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Periodic Contributor

Hi Gail,

Unfortunately I can't change insurers (I would if I could) - its after the enrollment period for Medicare so I'm left with two bad options - paying the out of network cost or finding new in-network doctors. From what the Cardiologist receptionist said they have had a large number of patients in the same boat as me. The medications are still covered, thankfully.

Greg

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Periodic Contributor

This may help you:

"Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment lasts from January 1 through March 31 each year and is specifically for Medicare Advantage Plans. If you’re already enrolled in a MA Plan, you can switch to a different MA Plan or to Original Medicare during this time."

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