Primary care for you and your family, close to home.
As of October 3, 2021, UnitedHealthcare is telling its commercial members they no longer have access to in-network care and services from Wellstar hospitals and physicians.
At Wellstar, our patients are at the center of everything we do. For several years, Wellstar has been working to renegotiate a contract with UnitedHealthcare that would result in reimbursements for Wellstar hospital and physician services similar to those from other health insurance providers. Unfortunately, UnitedHealthcare has allowed the negotiations to fail.Wellstar had provided our written consent for UnitedHealthcare to access Wellstar physicians and hospitals through the MultiPlan agreement. Shortly after we shared that update, MultiPlan notified us that it received notice from UnitedHealthcare, that they (UnitedHealthcare) will no longer access any and all locations of Wellstar as network providers in the MultiPlan Network.
We understand how important it is to have full access to the local, high-quality providers and hospitals you know and trust, and we continue to work on reaching a new primary commercial agreement that prioritizes patient care.
To find out how you may be impacted, read the section below under the healthcare plan that applies to you.
Wellstar understands the disruption this may cause for our patients, and we continue to pursue a fair agreement to resolve the issue. We appreciate that you have trusted us with your healthcare, and we want to be there for you.
We will provide updates on our progress in contract negotiations in the coming weeks on this webpage. We have also compiled information that may be helpful to you on this page, including Frequently Asked Questions.
Wellstar was able to negotiate an extension for the UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage contract through December 31, 2021. Read more about the extension and specific actions you may need to take in the "Find Out How You May Be Impacted" section below.
Wellstar was able to negotiate an extension for State Health Benefit Plan UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage (for Retirees) members to have in-network access to Wellstar through December 31, 2021. While the cost share for these members is the same for both in and out-of-network services, we encourage members to choose other Medicare Advantage options during Open Enrollment to ensure in-network access to Wellstar in 2022. Read more in the “Find Out How You May Be Impacted” section below.
AARP Medicare Supplement from UnitedHealthcare plans are NOT impacted by this contractual expiration. Read more in the "Find Out How You May Be Impacted" section below.
UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage members with an existing relationship with a Wellstar provider will have coverage through the end of the year and are encouraged to select a new Medicare Advantage health plan during the upcoming Open Enrollment period (October 15 - December 7, 2021) that includes in-network access to Wellstar providers.
To change your plan selection to include your Wellstar physicians and hospitals during the Open Enrollment process, you can either:
For our patients, we have been able to negotiate an extension of our contract with UnitedHealthcare, and Wellstar will remain in-network through December 31, 2021. Even if a further contract extension for this product does not occur for 2022, you will be able to continue to use your trusted Wellstar physicians and hospitals under your out-of-network benefit, with no additional cost to you. Wellstar physicians and hospitals WILL NOT be listed as in-network providers. We understand this could create anxiety and recommend you consider choosing one of the other Medicare Advantage options available to you during Open Enrollment that includes Wellstar physicians and hospitals as in-network providers.
The contract negotiations do not affect patients with the AARP Medicare Supplement from UnitedHealthcare. If you have this plan, you will continue to have full access to the Wellstar doctors and hospitals you know and trust.
We value our relationship with you. Wellstar’s doctors, nurses and entire team have been working harder than ever over the last 20 months to meet the healthcare needs of Georgians during the COVID-19 crisis. Wellstar consistently earns recognition from national organizations that set standards for the care we provide. This includes recognition for world-class cardiology, cancer and neurological care.
In contrast, UnitedHealthcare and its parent company, UnitedHealth Group, reported a record $22 billion profit last year—during a global pandemic. It’s disappointing that—even during these difficult times—UnitedHealthcare and its parent company continue to choose profits over patients. It’s no surprise that UnitedHealthcare is the least trusted private insurer in the country according to The 2020 Trust Index from ReviveHealth.
See how UnitedHealthcare and its parent company, UnitedHealth Group, are focused on profits, not patients as demonstrated by their skyrocketing profits2020 UNH Form 10-K
Wellstar provides access to compassionate, high-quality care through our: 11 hospitals; over 300 Wellstar Medical Group medical office locations; nine cancer centers; 74 rehabilitation centers; three hospice facilities; one retirement village; 34 imaging centers; 17 urgent care locations; and five health parks. Unfortunately, UnitedHealthcare has allowed the negotiations to fail. As of October 3, 2021, UnitedHealthcare is telling its commercial members they no longer have access to in-network access to one of the largest and most integrated healthcare systems in the state of Georgia.
The following is a list of major health plans that Wellstar Health System participates in. Wellstar is simply asking UnitedHealthcare to reimburse us fairly, similar to other insurance companies such as Anthem/Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna and Humana.
*If you do not see your health plan listed, please contact (770) 956-STAR Monday-Friday to see if your plan is included.