UAB set to no longer accept UnitedHealthcare policyholders

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This July 12, 2019, photo shows the UnitedHealthcare headquarters in Minneapolis. UnitedHealthcare Inc. reports earnings Thursday, July 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — UnitedHealthcare and the University of Alabama Health System have failed to reach a contract agreement, potentially jeopardizing coverage for nearly 25,000 policyholders at one of Alabama’s largest hospital systems.

UAB entities are scheduled to end accepting UnitedHealthcare insurance on July 31. That includes the UAB Hospital, the Kirklin Clinic and Baptist Health in Montgomery.

UnitedHealthcare says the cost of care at the UAB Health System is too expensive, hindering employer’s ability to design cost-effective, competitive benefits.

UAB Health System CEO Will Ferniany says the insurance provider has demanded their costs mirror “smaller, less comprehensive” providers across Alabama. He says UnitedHealthcare is ignoring costs associated with treating the state’s sickest patients.

The emergency departments at UAB hospitals will continue to remain open to UnitedHealthcare customers regardless of the contract negotiations outcome.

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