UnitedHealthcare_Unresolved Contract Patient Information

What happened?
Houston Methodist and UnitedHealthcare were unable to reach an agreement by the Dec. 31 deadline. United continued to demand cuts that would have compromised the quality of care we offer our community. United abruptly terminated our 21-year contract, which was previously agreed upon by both parties.


How does this affect me?
United Medicare Advantage* and commercial patients will no longer have in-network access to Houston Methodist hospitals and facilities. The contract for employed doctors is terminated on May 31, 2020, and does not directly affect physicians who are affiliated with Houston Methodist. Even if you see an employed doctor, you will not be able to use in-network benefits if sent to a Houston Methodist facility.

*Only the United Medicare Advantage plan is affected by this change, not the United Medicare supplement.


Can I switch my insurance to keep in-network access to Houston Methodist?
We encourage our patients to contact their employers’ Human Resources department about insurance plan options. Houston Methodist still contracts with all the other major insurance carriers.


Can I still make appointments with my doctors and can I still have procedures at HM hospitals?
If you wish to continue seeing your doctors after May 31, 2020, please know that it will be out-of-network, which means you may have additional out-of-pocket costs. You should call the phone number on the back of your United insurance card for detailed information. We don’t want you to be surprised by medical bills. United patients can also use Houston Methodist facilities if your plan allows for out-of-network benefits. And you can always access our emergency services at hospitals or stand-alone centers.


What if I am pregnant or receiving treatment for a special condition on or after January 1, 2020, and Houston Methodist hasn’t come to an agreement with United?
Certain patients, including those who are hospitalized, pregnant or undergoing an active course of treatment, prior to the contract end date, may be able to continue receiving care for a limited time through United’s Continuity of Care benefits. Please call the customer service phone number on your United insurance card to see if you qualify. You have through January 30, 2020, to apply for Continuity of Care. You can find the application here


What if I am a transplant patient currently being evaluated?
New transplant patients insured by United will not be able to access our transplant services. If you were in the process of being evaluated, or are currently on the transplant waiting list, please call United for clarification to see what will be covered with in-network benefits.


How do I find a new doctor after May 31, 2020?
Please call United and ask for a list of doctors and facilities that are in-network.


How do I get my medical records?
Please contact medical records from Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at 713.441.4176. 


What if I have to go to an emergency room?
You can always access any of our emergency rooms or standalone emergency care centers, regardless of insurance. Emergency services are covered under your benefits, but if you get admitted you might incur out-of-pocket costs. For these situations, Houston Methodist will adjust patient bills with discounts.  


How will my outstanding claims be handled?
Charges for services provided before Jan.1, 2020 will still be processed as normal.


If I haven’t paid my bill for service provided before Jan.1, 2020 will I still be considered in-network?
Charges for services provided before Jan.1, 2020 will still be processed as normal.


What are my options?

  • You can change insurance plans to one that includes Houston Methodist. We are in more than 65 commercial plans and more than eight Medicare Advantage plans.
  • Pay out-of-network costs to keep seeing your same doctors.


Will I still have access to MyChart?


Are there any exceptions?
Yes, Fort Bend Independent School District has a custom plan with UnitedHealthcare in which Houston Methodist is in-network.


What can I do?

We encourage you to call United and express your concern. You can also contact your employer’s Human Resources department to request a plan that includes Houston Methodist in the future.  

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