KINGSPORT - Contract talks between UnitedHealthcare and Wellmont Health System are at an impasse, and Wellmont says patients covered by four UnitedHealthcare plans face higher hospital rates and limited physician access after Sept. 30.
In a prepared release, Wellmont called the latest proposal from UnitedHealthcare “unacceptable.” To continue receiving in-network rates at Wellmont hospitals, patients will need to obtain coverage from another insurance carrier, according to the health system.
Wellmont advises patients who would like to retain in-network rates at their hospitals can switch from one of the UnitedHealthcare plans to BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Blue Advantage, Humana, Windsor Health Plan or the federal government’s traditional Medicare program.
In an emailed statement, UnitedHealthcare said “Wellmont Health System is demanding a significant increase in payments for its services to UnitedHealthcare members. This is something that our customers in Northeast Tennessee simply cannot afford. We are making every effort to inform our members, help them understand their options, and prevent disruptions in their care.”
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